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Message to the New Restaurant at the Camelback Esplanade: Good Luck

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It's no secret that Camelback Esplanade, the mixed-use development on the southeast corner of Camelback Road and 24th Street, hasn't exactly been the most successful place to put a restaurant.

Tough to see from Camelback Road, parking hassles (you're either walking from across the street or have to remember to get your parking structure ticket validated), and the new AMC Esplanade 14 Dine-In Theater, which opened last September, aren't the greatest of assets for restaurants in the complex. Which may be why restaurants like Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen closed after about six months and Au Petit Four relocated to Old Town Scottsdale in November. And even though McCormick & Schmick's, the national seafood restaurant chain based in Portland, Oregon, shuttered this January due to a buyout, its departure means even less folks visiting the area.

Now, it looks like a new restaurant is ready to spin the Esplanade wheel and see if it comes up a winner.

The Phoenix Business Journal reports that Dallas-based Del Frisco's, a high-end steakhouse chain, plans to open a third location of Del Frisco's Grille, a new concept that puts a twist on the classic bar and grill (the other two locations are in Dallas and Manhattan) in the old Houston's location this summer with a complete redesign and the addition of a roof deck patio.

For those who remember, Houston's, part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group, moved out of the Esplanade last year and successfully reopened just down the street as a Hillstone property.

"We have been exploring the Phoenix market for some time," the Phoenix Business Journal reports company representative Bill Martens as saying. "We considered opening one of our other concepts in the area, but this Camelback location is ideal for the new Del Frisco's Grille restaurant."

Really?

That seems like an odd statement given that Hillstone is a half a block away, Ruth's Chris Steak House a block away in the other direction, and a flood of other competing restaurants (like Christopher's Restaurant & Crush Lounge and two Sam Fox properties) are across the street at the Biltmore Fashion Park.

The one ray of light is at least you'll be able to see the new restaurant from the street. Other than that, good luck, Del Frisco's Grille -- you're most likely going to need it.

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