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Downtown Mesa's new 12 West Brewing taproom, cocktail lounge, and restaurant.
Downtown Mesa's new 12 West Brewing taproom, cocktail lounge, and restaurant.
12 West Brewing

Phoenix Restaurant Openings and Closings in December 2019: Too Many to List Here

The Valley dining scene decided to end the decade with a bang. The following is one of the most action-packed monthly recounts of Phoenix’s restaurant openings and closings this editor has ever had the pleasure of putting together. The east Valley got a Jollibee, a Snooze took over the old Circles building, Cave Creek has one less dinner spot, and a beloved bagel place is no more.

Buckle up.

OPENINGS

12 West Brewing

12 West Main Street, Mesa


This former event space is 12 West Brewing’s new taproom, cocktail lounge, and restaurant. Expect Arizona brews, craft cocktails, small plates, salads, sandwiches, and flatbreads in downtown Mesa.

A-burrito

1127 East Main Street, Mesa


This new quick-service burrito spot, A-burrito, is known for menu items named for Arizona towns, including The Prescott, The Tucson, and The Phoenix (i.e., a carne asada burrito).

Angry Crab Shack

11340 West Bell Road, Surprise


The local seafood chain using Asian and Cajun flavors has opened its 10th location, this time in Surprise. The new 5,000-square-foot Angry Crab Shack has a spacious outdoor patio.

Barrel & Bushel opened inside Downtown Hyatt Regency Phoenix.EXPAND
Barrel & Bushel opened inside Downtown Hyatt Regency Phoenix.
Barrel & Bushel

Barrel & Bushel

122 North Second Street


Chef Chelsea Cummings offers a new menu of American comfort foods at the newly renovated Downtown Hyatt Regency Phoenix restaurant. Barrel & Bushel is set right on Second Street between Adams and Monroe streets.

Cartel Coffee Lab

10625 North Tatum Boulevard, #104


Cartel Coffee Lab has opened a 1,200-square-foot Paradise Valley cafe at Tatum and Shea boulevards with a brand-new La Marzocco Linea PB espresso machine.

Chauncey Social

17767 North Scottsdale Road, #100, Scottsdale


North Scottsdale’s newest hotspot is … Chauncey Social, set on Scottsdale Road just south of the Loop 101. Not only will there be craft cocktails and upscale American fare from Chef Joe Absolor, but also an indoor/outdoor layout and, apparently, a 10-foot-by-50-feet LED wall.

Cheba Hut

11 West Boston Street, Chandler


The Tempe-based, cannabis-themed sandwich shop Cheba Hut has opened an additional Valley location in the former Even Stevens spot in downtown Chandler.

Chicago’s Pizza With a Twist

39050 West Ray Road, #1, Chandler


Known for deep dish and the “authentic Indian pizza,” as well as other pizza shop-style menu items, Chicago’s Pizza With a Twist has opened its first Arizona location in west Chandler.

The Simpson family in their natural habitat at the new ComicX.EXPAND
The Simpson family in their natural habitat at the new ComicX.
Benjamin Leatherman

ComicX

21001 North Tatum Boulevard, #95


The long-awaited ComicX restaurant and bar at Desert Ridge Marketplace is an 8,000-square-foot, 200-seat theme restaurant seating 200 people. It’s packed with nerd culture, from the decor to the house cocktails to the food — salads, pasta, sandwiches, steaks, seafood, and starters like Lord of the Onion Rings — plus gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly options.

Condesa

2 North Central Avenue


Condesa, a restaurant, cafe, and craft cocktail bar, has opened in Downtown Phoenix's Renaissance Square. The 350-seat downtown restaurant will offer Mediterranean, Israeli, and new American menu items for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and Sunday brunch.

Crust Brothers Pizza

7342 East Shea Boulevard, #111, Scottsdale


The former Meatballz spot at Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard is now Crust Brothers Pizza. The casual Italian restaurant offers pizza, desserts, beer, wine, and more.

Detroit Coney Grill

6953 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale


The third Valley location of Detroit Coney Grill — the casual, Midwestern eatery — has opened in the Killer Burger spot at Hayden and Indian Bend roads

Duck Donuts

4040 South Arizona Avenue, #8, Chandler


The North Carolina-based, made-to-order doughnut shop has established its first Arizona location. Duck Donuts is now selling warm doughnuts in the Fulton Ranch Towne Center.

Founding Fathers Kitchen

3820 East Ray Road, #30


The former Angry Crab Shack space in Ahwatukee is now Founding Fathers Kitchen. The regional restaurant and bar has everything from Bud Light to craft cocktails, barbecue to sushi.

Frasher's Tavern

4180 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale


Frasher's Steakhouse, the well-known St. Louis-style steakhouse with the famous font closed on Scottsdale Road in 2015. But last month, the George Frasher-owned restaurant reopened at Frasher's Tavern in the former Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse in Old Town Scottsdale.

Fuzzy's Tacos

2050 East Williams Field Rod, #109, Gilbert


The fast-casual taco joint Fuzzy’s has opened an additional location in Gilbert’s SanTan Village.

Jin BBQ

111 South Dobson Road, #104, Mesa


The former Yan Grill & Hot Pot spot is now Jin BBQ, a hip Korean barbecue eatery with hot pots, drink specials, and a throwback vibe.

Joy Serrano tries the Chickenjoy at the Jollibee restaurant in Chandler.EXPAND
Joy Serrano tries the Chickenjoy at the Jollibee restaurant in Chandler.
Kris Vera-Phillips

Jollibee

2800 East Germann Road, Chandler


The first Arizona location of Jollibee has opened — a Filipino fast food empire known for buckets of Chickenjoy and sweet spaghetti. The ultra-beloved quick-service restaurant first served customers who had been waiting in line overnight.

Level 1 Arcade Bar

60 West Vaughn Avenue, #107, Gilbert


Level 1 Arcade Bar opened in downtown Gilbert’s Heritage District with food, cocktails, and old school arcade games. The new two-story game bar offers 12 signature cocktails (i.e. Flawless Victory) and small bites no unfamiliar to gamers (upscale Pizza Rolls and Pop-Tarts).

Marauders

6430 South McClintock Drive, Tempe


The former Mac’s Broiler & Tap spot in the Tempe Square Shopping Center (between Changing Hands Tempe and Trader Joe’s) is now Marauders — a 1,600-square-foot bar and restaurant bar with a pirate theme.

Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream

2302 North Central Avenue


The latest location of Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream, the well-known Ohio-to-Phoenix ice cream shop, has (re)opened across from the Encanto/Central Avenue Valley Metro Rail spot. All the 16 percent butterfat ice cream is made on the premises, as they say.

Nook Kitchen Arcadia

4231 East Indian School Road


Chef Nick LaRosa has reopened the Nook Kitchen Arcadia concept in the former High Dive spot. The east Phoenix restaurant is now 3,400 square feet and has a revamped menu.

Original Thai Cuisine 2 Go

1116 South Dobson Road, #132, Mesa


Original Thai Cuisine 2 Go has opened as a family-owned Thai restaurant in west Mesa in the former Szechuan Express spot.

Over Easy

11162 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Scottsdale


The Scottsdale-based breakfast, brunch, and lunch eatery has opened its seventh location, this time in northeast Scottsdale. Find Over Easy in the Ancala Village shopping area.

Park West's new Pita Jungle, complete with pita room.EXPAND
Park West's new Pita Jungle, complete with pita room.
PIta Jungle

Pita Jungle

9792 West Northern Avenue, #1600, Peoria

5609 East McKellips Road, Mesa
The local Mediterranean restaurant chain pulled a double play last month. Pita Jungle opened its 22nd (Peoria) and 23rd (Mesa) locations, meaning there are more pitas for everyone. The 4,400-square-foot Peoria restaurant has an outdoor covered patio with a communal table, a 26-foot-long open kitchen, and a Pita Room, as the Peoria PJ is the first to bake its own fresh pitas daily. The new Mesa location is located in the former Osteria spot, meaning that patio is back in business.

Snooze an A.M. Eatery

800 North Central Avenue, #3


Snooze an A.M. Eatery opened its sixth Arizona location, this time in downtown Phoenix in the former Circles Records & Tapes building. The 4,000-square-foot brunch spot seats roughly 145 people, and includes a dining room, bar, mezzanine, and pet-friendly patio.

Taco Bell Cantina

423 South Mill Avenue, Tempe


The Phoenix area’s second Taco Bell Cantina, i.e. a Taco Bell that serves alcohol, has opened in the former Restaurant Mexico spot on Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe.

Tasty Pot

66 South Dobson Road, #148, Mesa


The Mekong Plaza in west Mesa has welcomed a new tenant — Tasty Pot. The Taiwanese-style hot pot restaurant offers 12 individual hot pot option for lunch and dinner.

The Peppermill

7660 South McClintock Drive, #104, Tempe


South Tempe has welcomed another solid restaurant to the fold — The Peppermill. This 60-seat steakhouse is overseen by owner and chef Chad Thomas, and offers French and Asian-influenced cuisine, craft cocktails, and local beer.

Pastries on display at The Sicilian Baker in Chandler.EXPAND
Pastries on display at The Sicilian Baker in Chandler.
The Sicilian Baker

The Sicilian Baker and The Sicilian Butcher

3151 West Frye Road, Chandler


The combo Sicilian restaurant and dessert shop has opened a second location in Chandler. The Sicilian Butcher offers a 420-seat dining area with a pasta room and chef’s table. Meanwhile, the Sicilian Baker grants visitors a trip to the build-your-own cannoli station and espresso bar.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill

21001 North Tatum Boulevard


Desert Ridge Marketplace in north Phoenix has welcomed another location of the Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill to the southwest area of The District. The 6,500-square-foot, pub-style restaurant offers an outdoor bar and seating area, plus plenty of flat screens.

Tocaya Organica Biltmore

2525 East Camelback Road, #115


This fresh-casual eatery has opened an additional location in the Biltmore area. Tocaya Organica is known for modern, vegan-friendly Mexican fare.

Uncle Bear’s Grill & Tap

1110 South Greenfield Road, #101, Mesa


A fourth location of Uncle Bear’s Brewery, this time Uncle Bear’s Grill & Tap, has opened in east Mesa. Expect craft beer and pub fare in the new 6,000-square-foot brewery.

Urban Bricks Pizza

4750 South 48th Street, #107


The Texas-based Urban Bricks Pizza eatery has opened in Arizona near Tempe. The menu lists customizable pizza, pasta, paninis, and salads, plus a full bar.

Zesty Zzeeks Pizza & Wings

960 East Warner Road, #1, Chandler


The east Valley pizza chain has opened a fourth location, this time in south Chandler. Pizza, wings, calzones, and Italian appetizers are on the Zzeeks menu, plus some diet-friendly options like cauliflower and broccoli cheddar crust.

Zinqué has opened its first Arizona location.EXPAND
Zinqué has opened its first Arizona location.
Zinqué

Zinqué

4712 North Goldwater Boulevard, #110, Scottsdale


This Los Angeles-based, French- and California-inspired restaurant has open its first Arizona location in Scottsdale. Zinqué is a bistro and wine bar offering patio dining around a 30-foot, 22-year-old oak tree.

CLOSINGS

B2 Burgers & Brews

The Chandler’s burger and beer joint, B2 Burgers & Brews, has closed after two years.

Longtime Cave Creek staple Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine closed in December.EXPAND
Longtime Cave Creek staple Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine closed in December.
Lauren Cusimano

Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine

Cartwright’s co-owner and chef Brett Vibber has closed the Cave Creek restaurant to focus on his next concept, WILD.

College Bar & Grill

Located across the street from Sun Devil Stadium, College Bar & Grill has closed in Tempe.

Dr. Bob’s Coffee

This beloved Tempe cafe has closed but may return soon.

Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que

The SanTan Village location of Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que has closed in Gilbert after close to 10 years.

Giordano’s Pizza

The Paradise Valley location of Giordano’s Pizza has closed after just over a year.

Grazie

The Old Town Scottsdale pizzeria and wine bar has closed after 18 years.

Las Palmas Cantina

Owned by Julian Wright, the downtown Chandler modern Mexican seafood restaurant has closed after nearly two years.

You can't go wrong with this bagel from Odelay Bagel Co. But you can't go there any more.EXPAND
You can't go wrong with this bagel from Odelay Bagel Co. But you can't go there any more.
Dillon Rosenblatt

Odelay Bagel Co.

Beloved bagel pusher Ryan Probst has closed Odelay Bagel Co.

PNPK Neighborhood Kitchen & Bar

The north Scottsdale wine and cocktail bar known for crazy craft sliders has closed after less than two years.

Rosati's Pizza

The original Arizona location of the family owned Rosati's Pizza has closed in Tempe after 33 years.

Tee Pee Tap Room

The Mexican restaurant spotted in downtown Phoenix on the way to Chase Field has closed after more than 20 years.

Sun Devil Liquors is still there, but the basement bar, Cellar Pub, has closed.
Sun Devil Liquors is still there, but the basement bar, Cellar Pub, has closed.
Andrew Pielage

The Cellar Pub

The basement wine and beer bar beneath Sun Devils Liquors in Mesa has closed.

Woody’s Macayo

The storied Central Avenue location of Woody’s Macayo has closed. Opened in the former Fez spot in 2017, this Macayo's location neighbored what was once the location of the Mayan-looking stair-step location south of Indian School Road.

Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original version.

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