HOSPITALITY CHECKPOINT SPOTTER SERVICE
New restaurants, closings in metro Phoenix in December
More than a dozen restaurants opened in December, including Grabbagreen at CityScape in downtown Phoenix, Nori Sushi in Scottsdale, and Culinary Dropout at the Farmer Arts District in Tempe. Three places shut their doors, including Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.
Build a salad or bowl from a long list of items such as quinoa noodles, salmon, tofu, kale, avocado, black beans and goji berries. Or order a signature dish like the 286-calorie Indochin grain bowl with rice noodles, chicken, cucumber, bean sprouts, carrot, green onion, cilantro and a spicy almond dressing. The newest branch at CityScape joins two in Scottsdale.
Details: CityScape, First and Washington streets in Phoenix. Other locations at grabbagreen.com.
Set just west of 40th Street on Camelback Road in Phoenix, this Fox Restaurant Concepts juice bar serves organic, cold-pressed juices as well as coffee, tea, snacks, salads and super-food meal-replacement smoothies. There are also locations at Scottsdale Quarter and Biltmore Fashion Park at the center's True Food Kitchen location.
Details: 3912 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 480-240-1277, foxrc.com.
Two more Bosa Donuts opened in December: one at Seventh Street and Union Hills Drive in Phoenix and another at Higley and Baseline roads in Gilbert. Apple fritters, sprinkle doughnuts, croissants, bagels, doughnut holes, bear claws, coffee, tea and smoothies are among the offerings.
Details: 710 E. Union Hills Drive, Phoenix. 623-388-6656. And 1614 N. Higley Road, Gilbert. 480-699-9962. Search "Bosa Donuts" on Facebook.
Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar
This new restaurant within Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a collaboration with celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, who also operates La Hacienda Mexican restaurant in the resort. It's housed in the old Grill golf clubhouse eatery overlooking the 18th green of the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course. Menu highlights include a "suviche" bar (sushi and ceviche), wok dishes, small plates, grilled entrees and a spirits list of more than 100 rums, sugar-cane spirits and Latin wines.
Details: 17020 N. Hayden Road. 480-585-4848, scottsdaleprincess.com.
This Japanese restaurant near Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway has an extensive menu, with seafood choices ranging from tuna sashimi to baked miso Chilean sea bass. And there's chicken katsu and ribeye steak for the squeamish. There's another location at Desert Ridge Marketplace in north Phoenix.
Details: 10115 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale. 480-513-6488. And Desert Ridge Marketplace, Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix. 480-515-9777, noriaz.com.
Restaurant by day, club by night, Dakota is one of the newest additions to the Scottsdale entertainment district. The kitchen opens at 7 a.m. for breakfast and serves dinner until 10 p.m. Look for dishes such as the farmhouse egg panini, Chinese chicken salad, and cider-brined Amish pork chop. The bar is open until 2 a.m. A grab-and-go cafe with pastries, salads, sandwiches, beer and wine is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Details: 7301 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale. dakotabar.com.
Corner Bakery Cafe
Open from breakfast through dinner, this order-at-the-counter cafe serves egg scramblers, sandwich and soup lunch combos and entree-size pastas and pastry. The Scottsdale store is the third in Arizona for the Dallas-based chain, which boasts more than 180 company-owned and franchised locations, including one at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix and another near the Peoria Sports Complex.
Details: 15505 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-219-9022. Other locations at cornerbakerycafe.com.
Culinary Dropout at the Farmer Arts District
This gastropub opened at the Farmer Arts District development, a business cluster housed in what used to be a warehouse at First Street and Farmer Avenue near downtown Tempe. The project was Fox Restaurant Concepts' largest to date, and includes the company's biggest kitchen. Also at the complex is the Madison Improvement Club, a fitness club. Over Easy, a breakfast restaurant, is scheduled to join the party in early 2015.
Details: 149 W. Farmer Ave., Tempe. 480-240-1601. Other locations at culinarydropout.com.
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Located next to Postino in the remodeled ASU Art Annex Building in Tempe, this breakfast spot is Arizona's second. The first is opened in 2013 at the Shops at Town & Country, 20th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix. The Colorado-based chain's from-scratch menu includes breakfast potpie smothered in rosemary sausage gravy; eggs Benedict topped with spicy barbacoa beef and cream-cheese hollandaise; and a list of breakfast cocktails.
Details: 615 S. College Ave., Tempe. 480-355-1934. And 2045 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 480-725-8000, snoozeeatery.com.
The second restaurant at the recently opened Graduate Tempe hotel near the ASU campus, this Latino street-food kitchen is serving up chicharron (duck-fat-fried pork rinds), arepas, ancho-braised carnitas tacos, carne asada and fried-egg tortas and dulce de leche ice cream. The Normal Diner opened at the hotel, which took over the former Twin Palms Hotel, in October.
Details: 225 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe. 480-967-9431, tapacubotempe.com.
Boulders on Southern
This sister location to Boulders on Broadway in Tempe opened in the former R.T. O'Sullivan's space near Fiesta Mall in Mesa. The new spot has the same focus on well-executed bar bites, craft brews and bicycle culture as the original.
Details: 1010 W. Southern Ave., Mesa. 480-659-4816, bouldersonsouthern.com.
The Draft Sports Grill
TV screens and craft beer abound at this sports bar that took over the Buffalo Wild Wings space near Alma School Road and Southern Avenue by Fiesta Mall. Chicken wings, crab and artichoke dip, pulled-pork burgers, and fried chicken and waffles are among the many food offerings.
Details: 1130 W. Grove Ave., Mesa. 480-588-8988, draftgrill.com.
You'll find prime rib, Alaskan halibut, Australian lamb chops and Cornish game hen at this Gilbert steakhouse opened by Dennis Petty and Diana Blewer, who also operate the Groves Bar & Grill in Gilbert. Located at Gilbert and Ray roads in the former Cafe Posada space, the restaurant's name is a combination of the couple's fathers' first initials: John and Charles.
Details: 25 E. Ray Road, Gilbert. 480-306-4545, jcssteakhouse.com.
OPA Life Greek Cafe
The Mediterranean-inspired menu at this Westgate Entertainment District spot includes breakfast paninis, gyros, salads, appetizers and grilled-meat skewers. Look for pork souvlaki, feta-topped fries, Greek salmon salad and a sliced gyro cheeseburger. The original branch opened in July in the former My Big Fat Greek Express on Mill Avenue and Baseline Road in Tempe.
Details: Westgate Entertainment District, Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue in Glendale, 623-242-8338. And 227 E. Baseline Road, Tempe, 480-292-8180. opalifegreekcafe.com.
Four Peaks Tasting Room on Wilson, is now closed to the public as a taproom. The Tempe-based brewery plans to reopen it as an events space.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, casual dining restaurant with an island theme at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.
Chino Bandido, Mexican-Chinese fusion restaurant near Dobson road and Chandler boulevard in Chandler. The Phoenix location remains open.
Michael Zenner - CEO
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