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June Restaurant Openings and Closings: Hello, Alter Ego; Goodbye, Nook Kitchen Downtown

Alter Ego and Alibi are now open in downtown Tempe.
Alter Ego and Alibi are now open in downtown Tempe.
Alter Ego

The greater Phoenix drinking and dining scene has just started one of the weirdest summers in recent history. But despite this, a few new eateries and cafes have opened amid the chaos, shelling out noodles, Greek and Italian dishes, Arizona coffee, drunk New Yorker-style pizza, and rooftop cocktails

Let’s welcome all the new Valley restaurants that opened in June 2020, and say goodbye to a few as well.

Openings

Alter Ego / Alibi

108 East University Drive, Tempe


Found within the new Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown hotel across from Arizona State University, Alter Ego is an onsite restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The kitchen is overseen by veteran Valley chef Ken Arneson, and offers dishes like a banh mi bowl, chimichurri New York strip, and blistered bok choy — along with inventive cocktails. The new Tempe hotel is also home to Alibi, a new full-service, 14th-floor rooftop bar with tapas and craft cocktails.

A slice of the artichoke pie, now available in Tempe.EXPAND
A slice of the artichoke pie, now available in Tempe.
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza

Artichoke Pizza

1120 East Baseline Road, Tempe


Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, the New York City-based fast-casual pizza joint, opened its first Arizona location at The Collective on Baseline complex in south Tempe. The new 2,500-square-foot location offers traditional pies like New York-style margherita, pepperoni, and meatball, as well as signature options like the artichoke pie and crab pie. There’s also a full bar, salads, and lighter Italian fare.

Bibio Modern Korean Kitchen

6140 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler


This fast-casual, locally owned, build-your-own bowls Korean restaurant has opened a second location, this time in west Chandler. The new location of Bibio Modern Korean Kitchen is closed on Sundays, unlike the original Gilbert spot.

Dog Haus Biergarten Downtown Phoenix

1 East Washington Street


Dog Haus has opened its fourth location in Arizona, and its first in Phoenix proper, in downtown’s CityScape. The small chain is known for gourmet hot dogs, burgers, and chicken sandwiches, as well as selections craft beer.

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice has opened its first Arizona location in Chandler.
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice has opened its first Arizona location in Chandler.
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

4050 South Alma School Road, Chandler


Arizona’s first location of Jeremiah’s Italian Ice opened in the Shops at Ocotillo at Alma School and Ocotillo roads. Jeremiah’s offers more than 40 flavors of housemade Italian ice, as well as soft-serve ice cream, gelati, and free samples.

Kavala Restaurant & Café

1455 West Elliot Road, Gilbert


Overseen by two chefs, one from Kavala, Greece and the other from Sicily, Kavala Restaurant & Café offers small plates, entrees, salads, and pasta with both a Greek and Italian touch. Think Greek bruschetta, Italian steak panini, osso bucco-style lamb shank, and baklava.

Kungfu Ramen

1845 East Broadway Road, Tempe


This hand-pulled noodle house in Tempe serves hand-made dumplings, traditional Chinese cold plates like sliced tofu salad, steamed pork buns, spicy noodle soups, wok-style dishes, and more. And Kungfu Ramen being a noodle shop, options range from thin to thick to chive, wide, extra wide, knife-sliced, and well, regular.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

7507 West Rose Garden Lane, #105, Glendale


The Chicago-based Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria has opened in fourth location in the Valley, this time in the Arrowhead Ranch area. The 2,000-square-foot space does not have a dining room, but does offer curbside pickup, no-contact delivery, and drop-off catering services.

Mr Claws

1130 West Grove Avenue, #111, Mesa


Found in the Fiesta Mall district, Mr Claws is a new Cajun restaurant offering seafood broil-level orders of shrimp, crawfish, green mussels, snow crab, king crab, and lobster tails. Fried seafood baskets and specialties like shrimp garlic noodles are also available.

Cake display at Paris Baguette.EXPAND
Cake display at Paris Baguette.
Kris Vera-Phillips

Paris Baguette

1919 West Main Street, Mesa


The new location of H Mart in Mesa is also the new home of Arizona’s first Paris Baguette, a chain of bakeries hailing from South Korea. The spot offers pastries, bread, sandwiches, and more.

Press Coffee

15147 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale


The Arizona coffee roasters Press Coffee have moved into a larger location at the Scottsdale Quarter. Neighboring Sorso Wine Room, the new 1,900 square-foot space is twice as big as its former digs in The Quarter, which had been open since 2010.

Que Chevere

142 West Main Street, Mesa


Que Chevere is another story of a food truck — owned and operated by Maria Fernanda and Orvid Cutler — turned brick-and-mortar. The new downtown Mesa restaurant serves Venezuelan food in the form of arepas, empanadas, and cachapas, as well as fresh juices, South American beers, and chichi for dessert.

Rosati’s Pizza

1730 East Warner Road #9, Tempe


The original Arizona location of Rosati’s Pizza in southern Tempe had reopened under new ownership after closing in December 2019 following a 33-year run. The opening happened weeks before the death of Rick Rosati, the CEO of Rosati’s Pizza.

Shinme Sushi

3020 South Gilbert Road, #5, Chandler


This locally owned Japanese restaurant lists spring rolls, gyoza, and miso, sure, but the real draw is the menu of signature rolls. Shinme Sushi offers the baked scallop roll, the yellow mango roll, and simply, the Amazing Roll — eel, sweet potatoes, cream cheese, tempura, and eel sauce.

Surf City Sandwich

5482 South Power Road, Gilbert


The Santa Cruz, California-based Surf City Sandwich has a opened second location in Gilbert. The bar and sandwich shop offers hot and cold craft sandwiches, salads, sides like fries and tots, and soon, beer.

Sushi Vibe

100 East Camelback Road


Found in Uptown Plaza — the remodeled Midcentury shopping center at the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Camelback Road — Sushi Vibe has opened with a limited menu. The locally owned Japanese eatery offers menu items like salmon teriyaki, halibut hirame, miso eggplant, and of course sashimi and sushi. Owner Masa Kim is also behind other Valley sushi restaurant like Sushiholic, Sushi Style, and Fresh Wasabi.

The dining room at the now-closed Nook Kitchen Downtown.EXPAND
The dining room at the now-closed Nook Kitchen Downtown.
Lauren Saria

Closings

A note on closures this month: Of course, many restaurants in the Phoenix area have, or remain, temporarily closed because of rising COVID-19 cases. However, these eateries have permanently shuttered (which may also be coronavirus related).

The Brass Tap

Downtown Gilbert’s Brass Tap, open since 2018, announced its June 15 closure via social media. However, the sports bar-looking spot has plans to reopen this summer as a Cajun-style restaurant called Da’ Bayou Creole Kitchen.

Blue Adobe Santa Fe Grille

The Gilbert location of Blue Adobe Santa Fe Grille closed in March in the initial COVID-19 shutdown. The owners, also behind the Scottsdale location of Blue Adobe, decided not to reopen. The New Mexican eatery had been in Gilbert since early 2018.

Carlos O'Brien's Mexican Restaurant

The Carlos O’Brien’s location at 12th Street and Northern Avenue, which had operated at that spot since 1985, has permanently closed. Additional locations remain on Happy Valley Road and in Scottsdale

Nook Kitchen Downtown

Opened in April 2016 at the intersection of Monroe Street and Central Avenue in the 1932-built Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown, Nook Kitchen Downtown has now closed. However, Nook Kitchen Arcadia is still in operation.

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

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