Michael O'Dowd is back on the scene, but this time in a cozy downtown Phoenix house.
Michael O'Dowd is back on the scene, but this time in a cozy downtown Phoenix house.
Lauren Saria

May Restaurant Openings and Closings in Metro Phoenix

Even though the busy tourist season in Phoenix has come and gone, the good news for Phoenix food lovers is that we've still had more great spots open up in the past month than we've had to say goodbye to. We've even seen some previously-closed favorite restaurants open back up.

In case you missed it, here are all of the brand new, resurrected, and fallen (but not forgotten) spots that changed Phoenix's dining scene in May.

See Also: 5 Things Food and Drink Lovers Need in Metro Phoenix Right Now


  • Urban Vine
  • "The new space still shows a little bit of the whimsy O'Dowd was putting out at Renegade by MOD, though nowhere near the same scale. Then again, it's still very early. We enjoyed just about everything we tried so as long as the food stays on the current track, we'll be happy to keep going back."
    Classic Italian Pizza is back, Tempe 'za lovers!
    Classic Italian Pizza is back, Tempe 'za lovers!

  • Classic Italian Pizza
  • "The new restaurant offers a bar and dining room and features a menu that's "90 percent the same" as at the old location, according Began. That means you can look forward to a selection of top-quality wood fired pizzas..."

  • JamRock Cafe & Grill
  • "The restaurant... serves a small menu of Carribean and Jamaican cuisine -- think entrées like oxtail, jerk chicken, and curry goat to be enjoyed with an ice-cold Red Stripe. The restaurant offers a full bar, large outdoor patio, and expects to host live music on weekend nights."

  • RaspadoRico
  • You can get a raspado at RaspadoRico in 10 flavors, including mango, pineapple, coconut, tamarind, pecan, strawberry, vanilla, and jamaica. They can be ordered in three sizes that range in price from $3.50 to $5. You also can add ice cream for an extra buck or lechera (sweetened condensed milk) for just a quarter.

  • Southern Rail
  • "Expect dishes such as house-smoked chicken and grilled andouille sausage gumbo; beignets; cornbread salad with grilled cauliflower, marinated tomatoes, pickled beets and okra; house-smoked trout with sweet pea cake and spiced tomato jam; and fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese."

Openings Continued:

    This burro has Korean flavors.
    This burro has Korean flavors.
    Lauren Saria

  • Fusion Burritos
  • "The menu includes creations that range from, 'Ok, that doesn't sound too bad,' to, 'Really? That can't be good.' Consider the Gilbert burrito that features housemade chicken salad with dried cranberries, almonds, celery, and greens. It's more of a wrap than a burrito, but we can get behind the idea."

  • Tokyo Joe's
  • "The menu includes a small section of made-to-order sushi with options such as California roll and spicy tuna rolls in addition to a few more unique creations. The Joe's Roll features grilled shrimp, avocado, cream cheese, and cucumber..."
    Get ready for a whole new league of cocktail bar, Phoenix.
    Get ready for a whole new league of cocktail bar, Phoenix.
    Courtesy of MMPR

  • Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
  • "Though Bitter & Twisted will offer a selection of beer and wine, the focus will definitely be on the cocktails. There will be a 24-page "Book O' Cocktails" (cocktail menu) complete with 10 chapters, over 50 cocktails, plus spirits and mocktails."
    Tacos Atoyac is back! (Kind of...)
    Tacos Atoyac is back! (Kind of...)
    Lauren Saria

  • Restaurant Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca
  • "At Restaurant Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca, you can get the same menu of Oaxacan-style street fare that fans came to love at Tacos Atoyac. That includes the entire lineup of incredibly affordable tacos, tamales, and quesadillas."
Don't take our ice cream away now!
Don't take our ice cream away now!
Diderique Konig


  • Pink Spot
  • "The good news for fans of the Pink Spot's frozen treats is that you'll still be able to buy the ice cream in pints. Pink Spot owner Julie Kossak intends to carry the ice cream -- which is sourced from local ice creamery, Karen's Kreamery -- next door at ZPizza, which she also owns."

  • Nourish at Optima Camelview
  • "Carey says the landlord at Optima at Camleview has "decided to do something different" with the space, therefore requiring Nourish to move out. There are plans to move the restaurant to a new location in Tempe, though Carey says she can't give an exact address until the deal is finalized."

  • Scottsdale Station
  • "Scottsdale Station was intended to be a revival of the Carefree restaurant with Carefree Station's former executive chef Thomas Nasworthy serving as Corporate Executive Chef at the new spot."

  • Bill Johnson's Big Apple
  • "The Big Apple restaurants have been a Valley staple since the 1950s, when cowboy/radio personality/stuntman/actor Bill Johnson founded the first Bill Johnson's Big Apple with his wife Gene. Johnson used to broadcast his KTAR radio show from the Van Buren location, often hosting celebrities such as Roy Rogers and Johnny Cash."

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