Restaurant News

August Openings and Closings: A Moment for Mediterranean and an Ending for The Harp

Alibi is now open in downtown Tempe.
Alibi is now open in downtown Tempe. Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown
We are just as surprised as you are by the number of new eateries opening in the Phoenix area.

We were less surprised by the several bar and restaurant closings through the Valley.

Here's the August list of what's new and what's gone around here.



108 East University Drive, Tempe

Alibi is on the rooftop of Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown, also home to Alter Ego. Set on the 14th floor, this full-service bar has 180-degree views, a menu of street food designed by Executive Chef Ken Arneson, and some specialty craft cocktails.

Angry Crab Shack

1749 West Hunt Highway, San Tan Valley

The 11th and newest location of Angry Crab Shack, the local chain of spicy seafood restaurants, has opened. This time, the fast casual, shrimp-focused eatery is in San Tan Valley.

Benjamin’s Upstairs

7111 East Fifth Avenue, Scottsdale

Benjamin's Upstairs has opened upstairs (appropriately enough) at Citizen Public House. Chef Ben Graham designed a menu of shareable plates, both small and large. In addition to the fried chicken and oysters, there's cornbread waffles, vegetable crudo, and scallop ceviche. Expect a dim, deco-inspired room with an open kitchen and bar area and a beverage program offering pétillant-naturel wines, natural ciders, and classic cocktails to match the speakeasy vibe.

click to enlarge Get breakfast for lunch (or any other time of the day) at The Boozy Breakfast. - THE BOOZY BREAKFAST
Get breakfast for lunch (or any other time of the day) at The Boozy Breakfast.
The Boozy Breakfast

The Boozy Breakfast

5450 East High Street
The Boozy Breakfast has opened in northern Phoenix’s High Street district. Menu items include breakfast staples like waffles, French toast, and eggs Benedicts, as well as reimagined dishes like the Millennium Toast and creplettes. Lunch items include salads, protein bowls, and paninis, while cocktails range from the Boozy Bloody to the Peach Bellmosa and simply, The Dude.

The Crowned Egg

911 South Lindsay Road, Suite B106, Gilbert

The Gilbert-based breakfast and lunch joint has opened a second location. An additional site of The Crowned Egg is now open in Chandler and offers Benedicts, skillets, sandwiches, burgers, and more.


1116 South Dobson Road, #113, Mesa

Daruma offers sushi, rolls, and noodles at Dobson Road and Southern Avenue. Menu items include hot and cold soba, Daruma’s special roll topped with deep fried shrimp, and the garlic edamame.

Founding Fathers Kitchen

1050 West Ray Road, Chandler

Founding Fathers has more or less shifted from its Ahwatukee spot (and former Angry Crab Shack site) to a new location in Chandler. Founding Fathers Kitchen is now found at Alma School and Ray roads, and serves the same Asian- and Southern-inspired comfort foods.

click to enlarge A menu item from Francine. - DAVID BLAKEMAN
A menu item from Francine.
David Blakeman


4712 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale

The Luxury Wing of Scottsdale Fashion Square is now home to Francine — a fine dining establishment with a Mediterranean and south-of-France menu. Operations are overseen by restaurateur Laurent Halasz and Executive Chef Brian Archibald. Entrees include striped bass, steak tartare, bouillabaisse, and seared duck a la provencal. Also on the menu: ratatouille tart, grilled octopus, and bone marrow.

Gabriella's Contemporary American Cuisine

10155 East Via Linda Road, Suite H134, Scottsdale

Found at The Mercado at Scottsdale Ranch, Gabriella's Contemporary American Cuisine is owned and operated by husband-and-wife Anthony and Anna Barr. The restaurant offers upscale comfort food, like the short rib grilled cheese, stuffed cheese and bacon tater tots, sweet corn and wild mushroom tamale, and more.

Howler’s Restaurant & Sports Bar

3095 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler

Howler’s has now opened a second location, this time in Chandler in a former Majerle’s Sports Grill. The Chandler Fashion Center-adjacent serves pub food like burgers, wings, and beer.

Los Sombreros

1976 West Southern Avenue, Mesa

Los Sombreros has opened its third location, this one in Mesa near Mesa Community College. Expect menu items like chicken enmoladas, as well as margaritas, chips and guacamole,

Mike’s Grub

1845 East University Drive, Tempe

Fast casual yet contemporary, Mike’s Grub has opened in central Tempe near University and McClintock drives. Menu items range from streets tacos to pinza Romana, salads, and appetizers like bacon-wrapped dates.

A bowl of the Origami Classic ramen. - ORIGAMI RAMEN BAR
A bowl of the Origami Classic ramen.
Origami Ramen Bar

Origami Ramen Bar

4810 East Ray Road, Suite A-1

Former Nobu chef Yusuke Kuroda opened Origami Ramen Bar in Ahwatukee because he wanted “to introduce authentic Japanese food to countryside.” The ramen at Origami is bowled with “house-made, ultra-rich and creamy” chicken broth. There’s also a variety of Japanese rice bowls, handrolls, and appetizers like karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken). Sweeter options include the Japanese-brand Calpico milks, fruity milk teas, and a matcha cake for dessert. It's currently only open for takeout.

Pitadise Mediterranean Grill

710 West Elliot Road, Tempe

Another fast-casual modern Mediterranean restaurant has slipped into the scene. Pitadise Mediterranean Grill offers menu items like a kafta kabab bowl, Palafel pita pieces, and something called the ultimate beef bowl.

Rift Tap House and Wine

431 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

Rift Tap House and Wine, a new wine and beer shop, has opened in south Scottsdale, north of Scottsdale and McKellips roads. The modern shop offers 25 taps, about 60 wines, and is overseen by Damien Kanser and Jonathan Coppins. Bottles are available for takeaway.

Stratta Kitchen

8260 North Hayden Road, Suite A102, Scottsdale

Chef Alessandro “Alex” Stratta's latest, health-focused restaurant is Stratta Kitchen. The menu will change frequently and includes several dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian options. It’s divided into four sections: greens, grains, The Goods, and To Share or Not to Share. Stratta offers lunch and dinner for dine-in, takeout. and delivery.

Tacos Chiwas

127 West Main Street, Mesa

Nadia Holguin and Armando Hernandez, the husband and wife behind Tacos Chiwas, have opened a third location of the popular taco shop. This one's in downtown Mesa.

Thai Chili 2 Go

5029 East Chandler Boulevard, #306

Thai Chili 2 Go, the local fast casual Thai food chain has opened its 10th location — this time in Ahwatukee.

click to enlarge Farmboy Market, Meats, Sandwiches in Chandler has permanently closed. - CHRIS MALLOY
Farmboy Market, Meats, Sandwiches in Chandler has permanently closed.
Chris Malloy

Americana Burgers & Beer

The bar, grill, and popular patio area has closed on Mill Avenue. It had been around since 2018.

Farmboy Market, Meats, Sandwiches

The Chandler market and superior sandwich shop was run by owners Oren and Diana Molovinsky, who sourced their fruit, eggs, and other produce from their own 3.5-acre farm and sold it in a farmstand-style retail area. Farmboy had been open since 2018.

The Harp Irish Pub

Say goodbye to Guinness Fondue. This Mesa pub with an Irish soul has closed after more than 11 years.

La Bocca Urban Kitchen & Wine Bar

Another Mill Avenue casualty is La Bocca Urban Kitchen & Wine Bar. Both the original downtown location, around since 2008, and the High Street spot in northern Phoenix have closed.

Majerle’s Sports Grill

The Chandler Fashion Center location of Majerle’s Sports Grill, which had been in operation since 2007, has closed. The spot's new occupant is the aforementioned Howler’s Restaurant & Sports Bar.

Oink Café

This bloody mary and bacon flights joint in south Tempe has closed. It had been in operation since 2016.


The second-story bar at McDowell Road and Seventh Avenue has sadly closed. The locally owned cocktail lounge had been in operation since 2008.

Find Valley eateries offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano