Top Five Phoenix Food Stories of the Week

Every week, there's a cornucopia of Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.

May Restaurant Openings and Closings in Metro Phoenix

It wasn't a great month for restauranteurs in Phoenix, with the closing of a favorite Italian joint and a wine bar that's been around for years. On the upside, we're getting a whole bunch of Togo's -- again.

See the complete list of restaurants that closed and the ones that opened during the month of May.

--Lauren Saria

See also: -- Chasing Amy: Overcooked Reality and the Decline of Western Civility Amy's Baking Company: The Complete History

11 Metro Phoenix Couples We'd Rather Watch Run a Restaurant Than Amy and Samy

The horror of -- and fascination with -- the Amy and Samy Show may have been seeing people's obvious dysfunction laid bare. That's why we love reality TV. It lets us feel superior. And boy did we ever, watching that train wreck. Here were two people who seemed to love each other but obviously had no business 1. operating a restaurant and 2. operating a restaurant together.

So it got us thinking about the local couples who do a fabulous job of running a restaurant together. Here are eleven of of our favorites. Please, someone, give one of these couples their own reality show -- not Amy and Samy.

--Nikki Buchanan

With Help From His New Partners, Julian Wright Is Taking Over Mill Avenue

You really do have to wonder if Mill Avenue mogul Julian Wright (who owns La Bocca Urban Pizzeria, Canteen Modern Tequila and The Handlebar on that street) ever sleeps. The restaurateur and CEO of Fork & Dagger Restaurant Group just opened Gringo Star Street Bar (also on Mill) not much more than two weeks ago, and earlier this spring, he debuted Modern Margarita in CityNorth.

And already, he has three more ideas for turning Tempe's main drag into the Wright Stuff. Here's how he plans to stay busy for the next few months.

--Nikki Buchanan

Pro's Ranch Markets Files for Chapter 11

Say it ain't so, Pro's.

Pro's Ranch Markets, the super-awesome California-based supermercado of Latin foodstuffs with 11 stores in Arizona, Texas, and Mexico (7 are in Arizona), has filed for bankruptcy reorganization.

The over 30-year-old family-owned business has blamed the U.S. economy, naturally, as part of its move toward debt restructuring, but also on something far more concerning. The Republic reports that in court documents submitted by Pro's Ranch Markets, the company's reasons for filing for bankruptcy not only include the struggling U.S. economy and a loss of construction jobs, but an "adverse, negative, and chilling effect of the perception of the State of Arizona toward immigrants and Hispanics, including the passage of SB 1070." Here's the full story on Pro's Ranch Market's bankruptcy filing.

--Laura Hahnefeld

5 Weird (and Tasty) Cocktails in Metro Phoenix

If you find yourself with a Jack and Coke in hand this summer, you're not doing it right. In the wonderful world of cocktails, weird is the way to go. Whether that means you stumble into the back-alley entrance of a speakeasy or you take your drink muddled, shaken, and flambéed into Flavor City, the humdrum of long summer days is sure to be broken by some alcoholic experimentation.

Here are 5 cocktails to add a little flavor to your summer drinking.

--Heather Hoch

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