March Restaurant Openings and Closings: Hello, Bacanora; Goodbye, Hot Noodles Cold Sake

March Restaurant Openings and Closings: Hello, Bacanora; Goodbye, Hot Noodles Cold Sake
Humble Bistro
Last month, we welcomed newcomers to the food scene like spots from celebrated local chefs Rene Andrade and Christopher Gross. We also lost restaurants from celebrated local chefs Josh Hebert and Alex Stratta (sort of). Let's recap.


Humble Bistro

5415 East High Street, #127

A new wine parlor, Humble Bistro, opened its doors along High Sreet in City North. Patrons can partake in a global wine program, pasta dishes, and entrees from its sibling restaurant, Humble Pie.

Carousel Arcade Bar

6770 North Sunrise Boulevard, Suite G207, Glendale

Westgate Entertainment District recently welcomed the Carousel Arcade Bar — another spot for cocktails, food, and arcade games. And here’s a twist: You can order a Choco Taco Shake.

click to enlarge Chef Rene Andrade, formerly head chef at Ghost Ranch, is now doing his own thing at Bacanora. - CHRIS MALLOY
Chef Rene Andrade, formerly head chef at Ghost Ranch, is now doing his own thing at Bacanora.
Chris Malloy


1301 North West Grand Avenue, #1

Chef Rene Andrade, formerly of Ghost Kitchen, opened Bacanora in the spot once occupied by Barrio Café Gran Reserva. Sonoran dishes are served via takeout for now.

5 Star Dive Bar & Grill

1807 East Baseline Road, Tempe

5 Star Dive Bar & Grill debuted its bar, pool hall, and neighborhood grill concept in Tempe. The must-eat menu item is the pepper steak sandwich which comes in five varieties — classic, hoagie, Italian, Baja, or with a fried egg.

Salad & Go

2814 South Signal Butte Road, Mesa
1660 East Pecos Road, Gilbert

Salad & Go landed in Mesa and Gilbert with its 29th and 30th locations. There are nine chef-created salads to choose from, and the service is known for being quick and efficient.

click to enlarge Black Rock Coffee Bar opened in Gilbert, Phoenix, and Tempe in March. - BLACK ROCK COFFEE BAR
Black Rock Coffee Bar opened in Gilbert, Phoenix, and Tempe in March.
Black Rock Coffee Bar

Black Rock Coffee Bar

1202 West Broadway Road, Tempe
13648 North Tatum Boulevard
1829 East Williams Field Road, # 101, Gilbert

Black Rock Coffee Bar opened three new locations — one in Tempe, the others in Phoenix and Gilbert. The menu offers typical coffee blends, as well as non-coffee options and energy drinks.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

15033 North Thompson Peak Parkway

The first Tropical Smoothie Cafe made its Arizona debut in Scottsdale. Menu items include a dragon fruit smoothie, citrus garlic Hawaiian wrap, and roasted jalapeño corn salad. Wraps, flatbreads, sandwiches, and of course, smoothies, are available for dine-in and takeout.

State 48 Taphouse

2218 East Williams Field Road, #101, Gilbert
State 48 Taphouse debuted its sixth location in the Valley. Menu highlights include fish and chips, meatloaf with gravy, and sandwiches. Also, house beers like the Lost Dutchman Golden Ale, Mango Wheat, Javelina Hefeweizen, and the Van Buren Belgian Blonde are also on deck.

click to enlarge Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion is now open. - PAUL MARKOW
Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion is now open.
Paul Markow

Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion

2501 East Telawa Trail

Chef Christopher Gross hopes to thrill patrons with his seasonal cuisine at Christopher's at the Wrigley Mansion. Guests can enjoy the views, as well as a tasting menu with wine pairings. See more information here.

Crumbl Cookies

1911 East Brown Road, #3, Mesa

If you are craving something sweet and inventive, Crumbl Cookies is the place. Now open in Mesa, the cookie shop offers carrot cake, iced oatmeal, sugar, and of course chocolate chip. Have that glass of milk ready — all cookies are served warm.

Matty G’s Steak Burgers & Spirits

815 East Baseline Road, Tempe

Opening its fifth location, this one in Tempe, Matty G's Steak Burgers & Spirits has 20 specialty burgers. The restaurant also offers hot dogs, salads, wraps, and tacos. Oh, and Matty G's Lobsta' Rolls.

click to enlarge It's here: Farmer Boys in Tempe. - FARMER BOYS
It's here: Farmer Boys in Tempe.
Farmer Boys

Farmer Boys

1535 West Higley Road, Gilbert

The first Farmer Boys in Arizona has set up shop in Gilbert. The fast-casual restaurant offers award-winning burgers, hand-breaded zucchini sticks, onion rings, and more. Farmer Boys has dine-in, drive-thru, and takeout services.

Forefathers Cheesesteaks

1075 West Queen Creek Road, #1, Chandler

The third location of Forefathers Cheesesteaks has opened in Chandler in addition to its Tempe and Scottsdale spots. The restaurant offers cheesesteaks, yes, but also salads and fries.

El Sol Mexican Cafe & Bakery

760 North Arizona Avenue, Chandler

Already known for its breakfast burritos, El Sol Mexican Cafe & Bakery also offers tacos, tortas, and enchiladas. But on the treat side, expect colorful conchas and housemade watermelon, melon, and lemonade slushies.

click to enlarge A doughnut ice cream sandwich from Novel. Yep. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
A doughnut ice cream sandwich from Novel. Yep.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Novel Ice Cream

40 North MacDonald, Mesa

Novel Ice Cream has opened its second location, this one in Mesa. Creative flavors are a thing here (think Oatmeal Creme Pie and Iced Gingerbread Cookie Butter), scoops of which are often served between two doughnut buns.

Ono Hawaiian BBQ

3135 South Val Vista Drive, Gilbert

Ono Hawaiian BBQ opened in Gilbert and offers island favorites like Hawaiian barbecue chicken, grilled Spam, Kalua pork, and crispy shrimp. Each plate comes with two scoops of rice, a scoop of macaroni salad, and seasonal vegetables.


7014 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale

The California yogurt joint Pinkberry opened its first Phoenix location at Scottsdale Fashion Square. There is a wide variety of yogurt selections as well as specialty toppings like fresh fruit, chocolate, and granola.

click to enlarge Josh Hebert, chef-owner of Scottsdale’s Hot Noodles Cold Sake, has closed his Scottsdale noodle shop. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Josh Hebert, chef-owner of Scottsdale’s Hot Noodles Cold Sake, has closed his Scottsdale noodle shop.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
(For a running list of notable closings since March 2020, go here.)

Hot Noodles Cold Sake

Chef Josh Hebert decided to close the physical location of Hot Noodles Cold Sake after serving ramen from the Scottsdale noodle shop for nearly five years.

Creamistry Uptown

There are still several Creamistry ice cream locations in town, but the liquid nitrogen has stopped flowing at the Uptown location.

Nori Sushi Desert Ridge

Japanese restaurant Nori Sushi has ended its run at Desert Ridge Marketplace. However, the three other locations — High Street, McDowell Marketplace, and at the intersection of Thompson Peak Parkway and Bell Road — are still open.

Stratta Kitchen

James Beard award-winning chef, Alex Stratta, closed Stratta Kitchen. However, he's opening a new eatery in the same space. It'll be called Campo Italian Bistro and Bar, and it's set to open this May.

Game Seven Grill

The Chase Field adjacent sports bar in downtown Phoenix has closed permanently.

TGI Fridays Front Row Sports Grill

The second-level Chase Field eatery and bar has closed. Fridays Front Row had been part of the Arizona Diamondbacks dining options since 1998, i.e., since the Bank One Ballpark days.

Flower Child

Opened in January, the digital-only Flower Child ended its short run. It was the chain's 27th location.
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Rudri Patel is a lawyer turned writer and editor. She is the co-editor of the online literary journal The Sunlight Press and on staff at Literary Mama.
Contact: Rudri Patel