What a month August was for restaurant openings! This month, more than two dozen eateries have opened their kitchens and started plating food for the hungry masses. New dining options include flame-grilled pizza, mesquite-smoked barbecue, and gourmet scratch-made meatballs. There were, however, a few closings — including one that hit Phoenicians pretty hard. All said, August was a great month in restaurant openings.
1006 East Warner Road, Tempe
This chef-owned Southwestern restaurant is putting a modern spin on classic dishes. Ghost Ranch is Chef Aaron Chamberlin’s third new restaurant this year. The clean, artistic interior has vibrant colors that complement the refined, lighter take on Southwestern food. Mouthwatering dishes like enchiladas in chile Colorado, pumpkin soup, and ceviche are being served for lunch and dinner.
The Larder + The Delta
200 West Portland Street, #101
This contemporary Southern restaurant is back. Chef Stephen Jones has made good on his promise to resurrect The Larder + The Delta in a new location. This favorite eatery was once located in the DeSoto Central Market (RIP). Now just a stone's throw away from for the original site, chef Jones is serving up his New Southern food, including Nashville-style hot chicken, hoe cakes, and Buffalo "chicken" cauliflower.
El Pollo Loco
2520 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler
El Pollo Loco has opened its newest location on Chandler Boulevard in a space where an Outback Steakhouse once stood. This Los Angeles-based chain is doing things like cooking citrus-marinated whole chickens over an open flame. Burritos, salads, quesadillas, and family chicken meals can be purchased from the drive-thru or enjoyed in the dining area.
3110 North Central Avenue
This trendy karaoke bar is located in the heart of central Phoenix. This bar originally opened in 2006 and has recently moved to the other side of the Park Center mall to a more spacious venue. In addition to all-day happy hour on Fridays, showtunes Saturdays, and Drag Bingo Mondays, this spot features locally produced draft beers and a variety of craft cocktails.
515 East Grant Street
The Larry is the latest concept from the owners of The Dressing Room and Be Coffee. Located in the Phoenix Warehouse District and adjacent to Galvanize, a communal workspace, The Larry features specialty coffees, a grab-and-go food section, cocktails, and a plethora of vegan and vegetarian options. A full patio and comfortable seating provide a nice setting to enjoy a post-work drink or meal with friends.
4747 East Elliot Road
Irish Hare has opened its doors in Ahwatukee. This new bar and restaurant resides in a space that was formerly a dimly lit sports bar called Brad’s Place. In addition to a full bar pouring a lot of the usual suspects, patrons can enjoy live music and Irish food. Guinness-battered cod, sliders topped with Irish-whiskey-cheddar, and nachos covered in melted Swiss cheese and corned beef are just a few of the menu items.
8300 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
This family-owned pizzeria has relocated from its original Hayden location to open a new flagship location. This Sicilian restaurant is best known for rustic, odd-shaped pizzas. These brick-oven-roasted pies are topped with simple, local ingredients. Crust is also serving up classic, simple Italian fare like beef and pork lasagna, Chicken Marsala, and seafood risotto.
Rott ‘n Grapes
4750 North Central Avenue, #140
Rott’n Grapes' second location is the newest wine bar in Phoenix. More than 200 wines are sold by the glass or bottle. Wines and craft beers can be enjoyed on a dog-friendly patio or in a speakeasy-style basement. Small plate offerings like charcuterie boards and a hummus plate are also on the menu.
Butters Pancakes & Café
8300 North Hayden Road, Suite F104, Scottsdale
One of Scottsdale’s favorite breakfast spots has relocated less than a mile north to a significantly larger space. The menu offers the same crazy morning eats regulars have come to expect, like Oreo-s’mores pancakes and Irish Benedicts with corned beef hash.
12811 North Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix
This Chicago-Based pizza chain has opened its second Arizona location. The pizzeria is now inhabiting a space once occupied by Bonefish Grill. Giordano’s is best known for Chicago-style, double-crusted, stuffed deep dish pizzas. Salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes can also be enjoyed in the family-friendly dining area or ordered to go.
Izzy’s Bakery & Café
1870 West Main Street, Mesa
This locally owned and operated bakery and cafe has relocated in downtown Mesa. In addition to making dozens of delicious pastries daily, Izzy’s is serving up American- and Chinese-influenced breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare.
Mr. Mesquite Taqueria
505 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
True to its name, Mr. Mesquite Taqueria is grilling meat over mesquite-fueled flames. This late-night street-food vendor turned restaurant specializes in Mexican cuisine. Mouthwatering street tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and bowls are now available at this new Tempe location.
Caldwell County BBQ
18324 East Nunneley Road, Gilbert
Clay Caldwell, founder and former owner of Waldo’s BBQ in Mesa, has opened a new BBQ joint in Gilbert. Caldwell County BBQ is serving smoked meats by the pound, hardy sides, and house-made desserts out of a converted ranch-style house. Three large, submarine-shaped smokers behind the restaurant see plenty of low-and-slow brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and sausages.
8900 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Suite B1, Scottsdale
Raven Gastropub has opened across the alley from LAMP Pizza in North Scottsdale. This bar and restaurant is combining inventive cocktails with American comfort food. Items like fish tacos, bourbon-glazed pork belly, and oven-roasted stuffed chicken breast can be enjoyed in a sleek, stylish dining area.
501 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
A country-themed bar has staked its claim to a space on the corner of Mill Avenue and Fifth Street in Tempe. The Rodeo Ranch features a mechanical bull, dance floor, and over a dozen large-screen TVs. An affiliated Texas-style barbecue restaurant is planning to serve food out of this location in the next couple of months.
7342 East Shea Boulevard, # 111, Scottsdale
Meatballz Inc. is serving up gourmet scratch-made meatballs out of its Scottsdale kitchen. The likes of classic beef, spicy pork, and chicken meatballs can be paired with you choice of sauce or gravy. Interestingly, you can even create your own custom meatball. Meatballz Inc. also has a full bar.
Muse and Market 4602
East Thomas Road # 110
This upscale casual counter-service restaurant is now serving Phoenix's Arcadia neighborhood. Muse and Market is open for breakfast and lunch. The French-influenced menu features cinnamon crepes, shiitake and caramelized red onion paninis, and slow-roasted Jalfrezi chicken. Coffee like espresso and drink-drinks like mimosas are also available.
El Charro Hipster Bar and Café
1345 Grand Avenue, #4
El Charro Hipster Bar has opened in the downtown Phoenix art district. This hip café is serving up signature ground in-house coffee, craft cocktails, and a selection of brochettes and open-faced sandwiches.
High Dive Bar and Grill
4231 East Indian School Road
High Dive Bar and Grill is serving both Dom Perignon and Natty Light. The latest concept for the hospitality group that owns Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers and Famous 48 is combining elements of classic dive bars and fancy cocktail lounges. The interior looks more like the latter. Burgers, sliders, and taco pizza are just some of the available pub fare being served.
2186 South Country Club Drive, Mesa
This drive-thru and walk-up coffee stand has opened its latest digs in Mesa. Bikini Beans serves a variety of hot and cold coffees. It’s best known for its scantily clad baristas.
901 North First Street
The latest concept from the owners of UnderTow and Counter Intuitive bars have secured a space in The Churchill. That space is now open. Pobrecito will feature Latin-inspired drinks and highlight tequila, mezcal, and rum. There will also be frozen cocktails and cocktails on tap.
901 North First Street
The restaurant management group behind Evo in Scottsdale has debuted a lunch and dinner spot at the new storage container marketplace in Phoenix. The restaurant will offer sandwiches, salads, and nonalcoholic beverages.
Freak Brothers Pizza
901 North First Street
This well-known Phoenix area food truck now has a brick-and-mortar space of its own in The Churchill. This is Freak Brothers Pizza’s first brick and mortar location. In addition to wood-fired pizzas (including vegan options), Freak Brothers has expanded its menu with salads, hummus, and desserts.
901 North First Street
This new restaurant offers Mexican-inspired cuisine, with a focus on the food of Jalisco. There is birria, esquites, aguachiles, horchata, and more. Provecho is one of several new eateries to inhabit the Churchill marketplace.
901 North First Street
Foxy Fruit features health-conscious smoothies and acai bowls. Ingredients are organic, vegan, gluten-free, and local whenever possible. Often, Foxy Fruit's bright and colorful menu items resemble works of art.
The Brill Line
901 North First Street
The Brill Line is one of several tenants serving cold brews in the Churchill marketplace. This casual tasting bar offers a sizable selection of local craft beers. This is just what you need to go with all the market's food.
DeSoto Central Market
In a move that few saw coming, DeSoto Central Market has closed. This lofty Phoenix food hall was home to many eating and drinking establishments and a rotating pop-up brewery space. Since 2015, this former car dealership has been a culinary dining destination for many, and a home to many vendors. The building will remain, but its future is currently unknown.
Donovan's Steak & Chop House
Donovan’s Steak & Chophouse has announced the permanent closure of its Phoenix location. This high-end steakhouse was in operation for the past 14 years.
Even Stevens Gilbert
This craft-casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner franchise is best known for its charity. For every sandwich sold, one was given to a local nonprofit. The Gilbert location has closed, but three other Valley locations are open.
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