10 Most Anticipated Metro Phoenix Restaurant Openings in the Second Half of 2017

Gallo Blanco Cafe & Bar opened in the Garfield neighborhood of Central Phoenix on July 1.
Gallo Blanco Cafe & Bar opened in the Garfield neighborhood of Central Phoenix on July 1. Felicia Campbell
Metro Phoenix has seen its share of high-profile openings this year, including chef Scott Conant's highly anticipated Mora Italian, the first Arizona location of Tacos Tequila Whiskey, and Sam Fox's latest hit, Doughbird.

More recently, we've seen the debut of novel concepts like Camp Social, a camping-themed restaurant that just opened on Seventh Street in uptown Phoenix.

But those are just a few of the new spots popping up on the Valley's dining map. Metro Phoenix chefs and restaurateurs — many of them familiar names — are set to debut more new restaurants before year's end. As we enter the second half of 2017, let's take a peek at what they have in store for us in the coming weeks and months.

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Gallo Blanco Cafe & Bar opened in the Garfield neighborhood of Central Phoenix on July 1.
Felicia Campbell
Gallo Blanco Cafe

Summer is not exactly peak season for restaurant openings in metro Phoenix, but at least one highly anticipated opening happened last week. Chef Doug Robson's much-loved Gallo Blanco Cafe, formerly located at the Clarendon Hotel, is made its return to the Valley on July 1. The new Gallo Blanco is located on the corner of 10th and Pierce streets in downtown Phoenix's Garfield neighborhood, in a historic brick building that once housed the American Way Market. You can expect to find ceviche, pozole, menudo, tortas,and homemade horchata on the menu.

New Wave Market

After months of anticipation, Super Chunk Sweets & Treats' sister concept finally debuted in Old Town Scottsdale on Saturday, July 8. Located next door to Super Chunk, New Wave Market features a cafe and market stocked with products from small-batch food makers, and by this fall, will also include a dessert bar. The menu will expand on the selection of fresh-baked breads and baked goods available next door, along with grab-and-go lunch items and coffee drinks made from locally roasted Peixoto Coffee. Owners Sergio and Country Velador also plan to use the expanded space to host baking and other craft-related classes.

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Chef Aaron Chamberlin, artist Gennaro Garcia, and chef Suny Santana are the team behind Taco Chelo, which is expected to open on Roosevelt Row later this summer.
Courtesy of St. Francis/Phoenix Public Market Cafe
Taco Chelo

Taco Chelo, described as a collaboration between chef Suny Santana, artist Gennaro Garcia, and restaurateur Aaron Chamberlin, will debut later this summer on Roosevelt and Fifth streets in Phoenix. The restaurant aims to deliver a short, well-executed menu of tacos, verduras (vegetables), and a rotating selection of daily specials. The restaurant will nixtamalize corn for its house-made tortillas, an ancient process for producing masa that involves soaking the kernels in a solution of wood ash or limestone and water. Expect to find a well-stocked bar with an assortment of Mexican wines and agave-based spirits. The restaurant will feature design work and original art from Garcia, which promises to make Taco Chelo one of the most visually compelling new spots to open this year. Look for it to open in late August.

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OBON Sushi Bar Ramen will be bringing unique ramen flavors to Scottsdale this summer.
Courtesy of OBON Sushi Bar Ramen

OBON Sushi Bar Ramen

A second location of downtown Tucson's popular OBON Sushi Bar Ramen is opening at the Scottsdale Quarter in north Scottsdale later this summer. The restaurant will take over the spot formerly occupied by TK's Urban Tavern. OBON has become a late-night favorite in Tucson for treats like steamed buns filled with fried Spam and braised pork belly, and for inspired drinks like the Space Oddity, a David Bowie tribute cocktail featuring squid ink and edible glitter. The menu at the Scottsdale location will feature new dishes created by Chef Paulo Im, along with items from the Tucson menu. OBON is projected to open in August.

Welcome Diner

Chef Michael Babcock and Sloane McFarland, working with Dinermite Diners (known for its work on the 5 & Diner chain) and local architect Christoph Kaiser, will soon debut a new 2,600-square-foot location of Welcome Diner. Located at 10th and Pierce streets — across the street from the new Gallo Blanco Cafe — the restaurant will feature a larger kitchen, more indoor seating, and an expanded menu. No word on an opening date yet, but judging from the newly painted mural on the side of the restaurant, it looks like it's ready to open soon.

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Patricia Escárcega was Phoenix New Times' food critic.