These 9 metro Phoenix restaurants are now permanently closed | Phoenix New Times

Openings & Closings

These 9 metro Phoenix restaurants are now permanently closed

A barbecue spot, a vegetarian restaurant and a ramen shop are among the Valley's recent restaurant closures.
El Charro Hipster Bar and Cafe on Grand Avenue closed at the end of August.
El Charro Hipster Bar and Cafe on Grand Avenue closed at the end of August. Lauren Cusimano
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Update: Good news for fans of Arepa Babe! The Colombian food pop-up is sticking around. Formerly announced plans of moving out of state are no longer in the works. Instead, Phoenix has lucked out and can expect to see owner Angelica Urrego at events this fall. Stay up to date on her Instagram account.


Restaurants come and go. But for a few recently closed spots, their time serving Phoenix was short. A vegetarian restaurant closed in downtown Phoenix after nine months, a ramen shop on Thomas Road shuttered after a year and a wing joint lasted only a few weeks. Also in this month's closings were a tiny diner and a Grand Avenue fave.

These nine restaurants and dining concepts are now closed.

The Breadfruit & Rum Bar

The brick-and-mortar location of The Breadfruit & Rum Bar has been closed since March 2020, but its menu of Jamaican dishes has been available from inside Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour for the past year. However, the pop-up officially ends on Sept. 2. The following week, Bitter & Twisted will take back over its own kitchen and bring back some favorites that long-term customers may be happy to see.

El Charro Hipster Bar and Cafe

El Charro Hipster, a lively hangout on Grand Avenue, has closed after five years. In late July, the owners announced the news, citing a rent hike as the reason. Throughout August, they hosted events and made the most of their last month in business. El Charro Hipster had a unique concept that evolved throughout the the day. It served coffee and breakfast in the morning, Mexican and Spanish-inspired foods for lunch and dinner and mezcal cocktails at night. It was a popular spot for live music, open mic nights and local artist events.

Ghett 'Yo Wings

Ghett 'Yo Wings celebrated its grand opening in Ahwatukee on July 29. By Aug. 21, the restaurant was closed. In an announcement shared on the restaurant's social media, the owners were unable to come to an agreement with the landlord. Ghett 'Yo Wings is part of a chain with locations in Phoenix and San Tan Valley and is a sister restaurant to Ghett 'Yo Pizza and Ghett 'Yo Taco.


Kaisen, a little ramen restaurant on Thomas Road (unrelated to Kaizen in downtown Phoenix) has closed after roughly a year in business. The simple yet cozy space was wedged into the same strip mall as Presidio Cocina Mexicana, where it served dumplings, steaming bowls of savory ramen and fried chicken with Japanese curry.

Li's Asian Chinese Food & Sushi Fusion

A Tempe restaurant that specialized in Chinese and Japanese cuisine has closed. Li's Asian, which prioritized takeout, closed earlier this month and has already been replaced. The new restaurant, called Chow's Ramen & Hibachi, serves classic Cantonese-American appetizers, including dumplings, spring rolls, cheese wontons and edamame. Mains include noodles, fried rice, ramen bowls and hibachi dishes.

Little Chef Diner

Housed in possibly one of the cutest buildings downtown, Little Chef Diner has closed. The restaurant, located on Roosevelt Street, served pancakes, burgers, burritos, coffee and other diner classics from within a 1950s Valentine prefabricated diner. The tiny, retro spot served its last customers on Aug. 27. While the diner is closed, fans can expect to see the chefs behind the wheel of their food truck, Culinary Theory.
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Sin Muerte, which means "without death" in Spanish, was once a funeral home. The restaurant is now closed.
Sara Crocker

Sin Muerte

Located in a refurbished funeral home, Sin Muerte was one of the more unusual restaurants in the Roosevelt Row area of downtown Phoenix. The menu was entirely vegetarian with many vegan options and took inspiration from places on the same latitude as Phoenix. The catchphrase was "from Maricopa to Morocco." The concept came from Instrumental Hospitality, the team known for the Asian-inspired restaurant Belly. One of the group's founding members, culinary director Michael Babcock, stepped down in July to spend more time with his family. The restaurant's closing came about a month later. In the announcement, the owners shared that the concept "just didn't work."

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Little Spring Provisions took over the kitchen at Sister Helen. Both concepts are now closed.
Sister Helen

Sister Helen

Sister Helen found its home in one of the more unique shopping centers in Phoenix. Starting in 1942, the building housed the Good Shepherd Home of Girls Catholic School. From its historic digs, Sister Helen served wine and snacks. It was also home to a large patio that frequently hosted trivia nights and live music. Little Spring Provisions, a culinary pop-up, took over the kitchen and menu in a partnership starting in late 2022. Now, both concepts have permanently closed.

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Tom's BBQ is known for its barbecue plates and Chicago-style dishes.
Tirion Boan

Tom's BBQ

At Valley locations of Tom's BBQ, customers can find an unusual blend of barbecue with Chicago-style food and memorabilia. One location of the local chain, situated on Southern Avenue and Country Club Drive, closed in mid-August after 33 years. According to an announcement video posted to social media, the restaurant closed so that the owners could consolidate resources and staff to the other Mesa location on McKellips Road. That location along with stores in Tempe and Chandler remain open.
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