The Phoenix metro area is ringing in the New Year with the openings of 17 restaurants. New dining options include a BYOB charcuterie spot serving artisan cheese and meats, a family-owned barbecue joint that’s slow-smoking ribs and brisket, and a natural and organic café offering a variety of vegetarian and health-conscious options.
Sadly, 2019 has claimed 10 eateries. This month’s closures include Mac’s Broiler & Tap, a neighborhood bar that had a 14-year run in south Tempe, Bold Roost Espresso Bar & Café, a seven-year fixture of Gilbert, and the short-lived Taqueria Louie that has closed its doors after just four months of business.
Mingle + Graze
48 South San Marcos Place, Chandler
The downtown Chandler space that once housed a small hamburger and hot dog joint is now home to Mingle + Graze. This cheese bar and kitchen's main focus will be artisanal cheese and charcuterie boards. Small plates, soups, and sandwiches are also available. Guests are welcome to bring unopened bottles of wine or beer.
Word of Mouth Grill
7660 South McClintock Drive, Tempe
Sure to be the talk of the town, this family-owned and operated catering service has opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant on the southwest corner of McClintock Drive and Elliot Road in Tempe. Owner Demetrious Matel is slow-cooking brisket, hot links, pulled pork, and ribs in an eight-foot, dual chamber smoker. Meat combo plates include your choice of traditional sides like cornbread, potato salad, or barbecue beans. Word of Mouth is also serving a selection of domestic and craft bottled beer.
Hamachi Asian Bistro & Sushi
1440 South Country Club Drive, #3, Mesa
A new sushi spot has opened on the northwest corner of Country Club Drive and the U.S. 60 in Mesa. The strip mall space where Hamachi Asian Bistro & Sushi resides in is no stranger to Asian-influenced fare. The building once housed Mango Thai and Beijing Noodle House. Hamachi’s menu consists of 17 nigiri selections and over two dozen different sushi rolls. A variety of stir-fry dishes, Mongolian beef, and kung pao chicken are also being offered.
La Morena Mexican Food
50 East Guadalupe Road, Gilbert
La Morena Mexican Food is a Southwest cuisine restaurant focusing on breakfast and lunch. This new joint is located on the corner of Gilbert and Guadalupe roads in Gilbert. Patrons can enjoy reasonably priced breakfast plates like jamon con huevos, chorizo con huevos, waffles, pancakes, and omelets. La Morena's lunch menu features a variety of scratch-made tacos, burros, and combo plates.
3131 East Shea Boulevard
Shrimp mac and cheese, jumbo lump crab cakes, chicken and dumplings, and a slew of other tasty American comfort food dishes are being plated at the new Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix location. Taphouse Kitchen is locally sourcing ingredients and produce from Arizona growers. This casual restaurant features modern industrial décor, sizable dining room, and a full bar.
Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar
7137 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale
Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar has reopened in Old Town Scottsdale. Prior to closing in October of 2018, Kaz-bar was an Old Town Scottsdale staple for 15 years. The new Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar features 100 wines and more than 500 whiskeys.
1900 West Chandler Boulevard, #17, Chandler
The southwest corner of Dobson Road and Chandler Boulevard welcomes a new boba tea house and Vietnamese sandwich restaurant. Rapha Tea features 18 flavors of milk teas, coffee, and juices. The reasonably priced banh mi sandwiches come stuffed with pork belly, meatballs, chicken, or grilled pork.
BKD’s Backyard Joint
980 East Pecos Road, Chandler
A new sports bar has arrived on the corner of McQueen and Pecos roads in Chandler. BKD’s is serving up classic American pub fare from their scratch kitchen. The restaurant has two dozen beers on tap with an ample selection of local craft brews. Their 34 hi-def TVs can be viewed from any seat in the house or on the spacious patio.
2023 West Guadalupe Road, #12, Mesa
This family-owned and operated New York-style pizzeria has reopened on the corner of Dobson and Guadalupe roads in Mesa. The interior of this restaurant has been completely renovated but the Italy-influenced menu has remained mostly unchanged. Hand-tossed pizzas, eggplant parmigiana, lasagna, and sandwiches are available for lunch and dinner.
Scoopwell’s Dough Bar
100 East Camelback Road, #164
Set in Uptown Plaza, Scoopwell’s Dough Bar is serving up scoops of scratch-made, unbaked gourmet cookie dough in their first brick-and-mortar Phoenix location. Scoopwell’s menu features ooey-gooey flavor combos like oatmeal M&Ms, peanut butter explosion, and cake batter.
3539 West Bell Road
Dosa Grill is now serving authentic Indian cuisines on Bell Road. Dosas (crisp, savory pancakes) are being plated with sambar and chutney and are available in 14 different varieties. Other classic Indian cuisines like garlic naan and multiple curry dishes are also featured on their menu.
7650 South 24th Street
Chick-fil-A has opened its newest Phoenix location on 24th Street. This fast food favorite is best known for their waffle fries, crispy chicken sandwiches, and being closed on Sundays.
Thai Chili 2 Go
2750 West Dove Valley Road
This fast-casual Thai restaurant is serving up some southeast Asian cuisine in Phoenix. The flavor-packed menu features a variety of curry dishes with varying levels of heat, rice bowls, noodle bowls, and crispy chicken-stuffed dumplings.
4225 South Gilbert Road, #1, Chandler
The newest Teriyaki Madness location has opened just off Highway 202 in the San Tan Village shopping district of Gilbert. This fast-casual franchise specializes in chicken, beef, and tofu bowls. Classic American Chinese food appetizers like crispy egg rolls, crab rangoon, and chicken pot stickers are also featured on the menu.
4400 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Poke and pork belly nachos, Brussels sprouts and potato chip bowls, and braised beef Irish nachos are just some of the exciting dishes being served at this fast-casual restaurant. Tap&Bowl is located in the heart of Old Town. The menu focuses on tasty, seasonally influenced bowls and creative cocktails.
2090 North Dobson Road, Chandler
A new breakfast and lunch joint has opened on the corner of Dobson and Warner roads in Chandler. Blackberry Café’s extensive menu has no shortage of house breakfast specialties. The kitchen is serving 11 kinds of pancakes and 10 different omelets. A plethora of sandwiches, burgers, and salads are also available.
4205 South Gilbert Road, Chandler
Tryst Café has opened their second location on the southeast corner of Gilbert and Ocotillo roads in Chandler. This breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant caters to health-conscious dinners and focuses on natural and organic ingredients. Hardy breakfast items like meat lover’s omelets, breakfast burritos, and bananas quinoa pancakes are served daily until 2:30 pm. Thai shrimp lettuce wraps, roasted buffalo cauliflower, and a selection of vegetarian and traditional burgers are featured on the lunch and dinner menu.
Masterpiece Donuts & Coffee+
The design-your-own doughnut and coffee shop in Arcadia opened in August 2017 and was closed permanently in mid-January. The announcement was made via social media with the note, "It's OK. It was a fun try. We loved getting to know you all."
Nitro Live Icecreamery
The Gilbert liquid nitrogen ice-creamery has put a freeze on any new business. Nitro Live Icecreamery has permanently closed and has announced plans to relocate to Queen Creek.
This no-frills Chinese restaurant located on the ASU downtown Phoenix campus has closed their doors for good. Hsin Café was best known for their sizable portions and selection of boba teas.
Sir Veza’s Taco Garage
The auto shop-themed Mexican restaurant in the Chandler Fashion Center has closed up shop for good. The Sir Veza’s Taco Garage’ Sky Harbor Airport and Talking Stick Resort Arena locations remain open.
Bold Roost Espresso Bar & Café
After a seven-year run, Bold Roost Espresso Bar & Café has permanently closed their doors. Ownership stated they are closing to spend more time with family. In addition to a variety of bold coffees and espressos, this café also featured a light breakfast and lunch menu and hosted painting classes, karaoke nights, and yoga sessions.
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Applebee's Tempe, two locations
This national bar and grill chain has been closing locations left and right in the Valley. The two latest Applebee’s casualties were located in Tempe. The Rural and Broadway roads location and the Priest Drive and Elliot Road locations have permanently closed.
After a mere four-month run, Taqueria Louie in south Tempe has closed their doors. The Mexican restaurant has not provided a reason for their early closure.
Meridiem Kitchen & Lounge
Meridiem Kitchen & Lounge in Chandler has permanently closed. This breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant opened in May 2017 and was best known for stylish décor, ample outdoor seating, organic and seasonal ingredients, and their hearty breakfast and brunch selection.
Mac’s Broiler & Tap
This burger and beer bar has poured its last draft. Mac’s Broiler & Tap has been open for the last 14 years. They were best known for their craft beer selection and hearty pub fare. Their space in the strip mall on the corner of McClintock Drive and Guadalupe Road remains vacant for the time being.