Phoenicians can’t get enough coffee and on Saturday July 30th there will be a new place to get your daily cup of go-go juice. Seattle’s Caffe Vita opens its ninth location nationwide and first in Arizona in the former Easley’s Fun Shop at 509 W. McDowell Rd. To celebrate their arrival, all day Saturday their giving away a FREE oat milk lattes.
Paying respect to the former tenant and its history in Phoenix, Caffe Vita is preserving several aspects of Easley’s including their signature bright yellow sign “Our business is fun”. Also renting out space in the building will be brewery Roses by the Stairs and men’s clothier Cave and Post.
“It was important for us to give a nod to the beloved business that once called this space home, and we worked with Carol Easley and family to preserve as much of the building as possible while constructing a space that’s uniquely Caffe Vita,” said Deming Maclise, Owner and CEO of Caffe Vita. “We think Phoenix residents will be pleasantly surprised at how much this space feels like an evolution of the location, rather than a takeover.”
Coffee and more at Caffe Vita
Beans will be roasted in a vintage Probat UG 22 and will be overseen by Director of Coffee Sam Spillman. Spillman is the 2019 United States Barista Champion and brings a wealth of knowledge and kindness to the job.
Guests can sip on signature coffee drinks such as Caffe Del Sol Espresso, single origin coffees and Oatdos. The latter is a cortado made with oat milk. Seasonal drinks including the Cold Brew Shandy and Prickly Pear tonic will be exclusive to the Phoenix location. To keep cool on hot days there will also be a selection of slushy drinks.
La Grande Orange Bake Shop, Yo Donut and Suss Pastries will provide locally made pastries and breakfast specialties. On the menu you’ll find a Prickly Pear Fruit Pocket, gluten free and vegan Passion Fruit donuts and more.
Caffe Vita will be open daily from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information visit their website.
Locally owned Venezia’s Pizzeria is opening its newest location along the Price Corridor of Chandler in June. The New York style pizzeria has been serving the valley for over 20 years with two locations in Mesa, one in Tempe, Gilbert and north Phoenix. Once opened they will offer dine-in, pick-up, delivery and catering.
“Chandler is a rapidly growing community, so it seemed like the perfect fit for our newest location,” said Domenick Montanile, owner and president of Venezia’s New York Style Pizzeria. “The East Valley has really welcomed us over the years, so we wanted to continue to grow our strong presence there. One of our first locations was in Chandler so we are excited about being back and serving our authentic New York style pizza to the local community.”
The Chandler location will have a modern look with white brick accents and drop lighting indoors and a patio with fire pit for outside dining. 8 large screen TVs and a community table and a state of the art kiosk for ordering are also featured. The menu will include classic New York style pizza, pasta, wings, calzones, sandwiches and salads along with gluten-free options and Zero Crust Pizza Bowls. Daily specials include the Slice of the Day, Slice combinations with salads, wings and a drink.
Venezia’s Pizzeria is hiring for all positions in front and back of the house and offer a management training program for those looking to grow with the company. Interested applicants can apply online
. Hours will be Sunday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Chandler location will be 1245 S. Price Rd. Chandler 85286. 480-447-5555
The Denver-based fast casual restaurant Birdcall will be opening its first all-natural chicken restaurant in Scottsdale in April. Once opened in the former Jason’s Deli near the northeast corner of Scottsdale & Shea it will be the first of 10 planned locations in Phoenix. The company was founded in 2016 and the Scottsdale location will be the company’s ninth location.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Newlin said that the new Phoenix area locations align with the company’s growth strategy. “We’re trying to change the way that people look at fast food,” Newlin said. “We’ve incorporated cutting-edge technology to deliver delicious natural foods and beverages quickly, without sacrificing quality. Our customers appreciate the fact that they can either grab a meal to-go or dine in with family and friends in a casual, hip setting that conveniently works around their schedules and any time constraints.”
Once opened, Birdcall will serve lunch and dinner that will feature 100% all-natural chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, crispy tenders, gluten & dairy free chicken nuggets along with vegetarian options. Phoenix’s Noble Bakery will provide fresh buns and sauces will be made from scratch in-house using 100% all natural ingredients. Local beers from SanTan Brewing and Greenwood Brewing will be served as will organic teas & sodas and milkshakes.
A community minded Birdcall
Birdcall is very focused on the communities it enters and gives back at least 1% of sales to the community. “Community is the heart and soul of everything we do at Birdcall,” Newlin said. “We want to be measured by the impact we create, not the money we make, and that’s why our beneficiaries range from local street artists and musicians to schools and nonprofits.”
Inside will be spacious with a contemporary design and outside will be a mural inspired by Arizona and shaded tables on the dog-friendly patio. Technology will make ordering easy with kiosks for dine-in & take-out and a double lane drive-thru is available for those on the go. A second location at SanTan Village is planned for Fall 2022 and a Phoenix location planned in early 2023. For more information and to view their menu visit their website.
Phoenix’s Giving Tree Cafe known for serving clean eating vegan, organic & gluten free food is also known as a community spot in the neighborhood. The cafe at 7th St. near Monte Vista recently installed a life size sculpture of a iconic 1932 photograph by Charles Ebbets. Owner David Warr wanted to find a permanent home for the structure and the message it conveys.
“’Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ stands as a testament to our resourcefulness and resilience. Our community has been through a challenging couple of years. Yet, we pulled ourselves up from our bootstraps, and we’ve grown stronger,” said Warr.
Getting it to the Giving Tree Cafe
The sculpture was hidden in storage and Warr found out about it from customer David Kirschenbaum who produced the sculpture with sculptor Blake Emory. The 24 foot long and 20 foot high sculpture took 3 days to install after being delivered to the cafe. It took Emory & Kirschenbaum over 2 years to make by hand using clay, fiberglass resin, steel, PVC, wood, textiles, rubber & chrome.
“Many haven’t been able to enjoy the arts scene for quite some time. I wanted to bring this sculpture back to life as a sign of strength, hope and togetherness,” said Warr.
The photograph and sculpture show 11 steelworkers eating lunch on a girder high above the streets of NYC. The 69 story building being built is the RCA building, now part of Rockefeller Center and the erecting of the building was a sign of hope and confidence in the future during The Great Depression. Each of the 11 replicas of the workers is life size and each weighs about 100 lbs. According to Warr,
“We’re not done yet. Watch the space over the next couple of weeks.” Artist Emory returns to make an exciting addition to the structure.
The Giving Tree Cafe is at 2024 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85004. For more information visit their website.
A new healthy food focused restaurant is opening on December 14th in the Kierland neighborhood of north Scottsdale. Santé, the brainchild of restaurateur Nic Neuman, owner of EVO and friend Nico Doniele, who has hospitality experience and is a certified health coach. The new restaurant will serve dishes that incorporate flavors from around the world along with being healthy and favorable towards all diets.
The upscale restaurant has a grab n go section, will serve breakfast, happy hour and dinner with lunch starting in 2022. In addition to serving keto, vegan, vegetarian, paleo and gluten-free foods, Santé will be sustainable as much as possible including sourcing organic ingredients from ethical sources to composting.
“My motto is ‘let us live to eat and live longer to eat,’ and Santé embodies that,” said Doniele. “We wanted to create a beautiful, inclusive restaurant where people with all kinds of dietary restrictions can dine together and enjoy the community and connection we’ve been missing over the last nearly two years.”
Inspired by Nico’s travels and health journey the menu will include signature dishes including Buttermilk Brined Chicken and a Bison filet. A wine list of 50 offerings will be bio-dynamic from old world countries that will include orange wines and sparkling rose. For cocktails, a bar cart will travel the room making table-side cocktails during brunch & dinner. Customers on the go can grab healthy snacks, meals and supplements along with coffee and tea from the gourmet café. The restaurant will also offer community events including Sunday School, fun and educational seminars with wellness professionals.
Santé is at 15507 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85254. For more information visit their website.
What’s going on in the Phoenix food & beverage scene?
Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers celebrates 10 years with $10 burger & beer deal
Every Monday – Friday from 3 p.m. – 6p.m. in November the locally owned burger & beer joint is celebrating a milestone anniversary with a deal hard to pass up. All 12 Phoenix area locations are ready to welcome customers with this deal which includes an All-American Burger, chips & domestic draft beer.
Pedal Haus Brewery opens 3rd location in Phoenix
Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix is where Julian Wright decided to open the third location of his popular taproom. The award-winning beers will be delivered daily from the Tempe brewery and guests can expect signature dishes including Haus smoked wings, a giant Bavarian pretzel and more like that found at the Tempe & Chandler locations. An extensive vegan and gluten-free menu offered in Tempe will be rolled out in coming months in Phoenix.
Pork on a Fork awaiting new restaurant opening with Food Truck Friday
Every Friday from 5- 8 p.m., or until they sell out, the food truck will hit the brakes in the parking lot of its future brick & mortar location in Chandler. $200 worth of gift cards will be given away and future food truck events will be announced. The new restaurant will be at 1972 N. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85224.
Chompie’s offering to-go Hanukkah meals
Just when you’re tired of turkey Hanukah starts Sunday, November 28th and Chompie’s Deli locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe & Chandler are offering deli platters and dinners for curbside pick-up. A minimum 24 hours’ notice is required and all pre-orders can be made by calling 480-348-2287, online or in person.
Dapper & Stout Coffee Company now open in Uptown Phoenix
The third location of has opened in at Uptown Plaza offering everything from coffee to food to cocktails. They open bright and early at 6 a.m. seven days a week and stay open til 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday & Saturday. Happy hour is daily from 3 – 6 p.m. with special on cocktails, wine & beer and $2.00 of Small Bites.
Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.
Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.
Macayo’s Mexican Food returns to Scottsdale with new location
The 75 year old restaurant has opened its newest location at Loop 101 & Shea Blvd in Pima Crossing. Known for such dishes as Green Chile Pork Stew & Chicken Poblano the menu is the same as the other locations around the valley.
Summer Supper is back on the menu at Marcellino’s Ristorante
From now until Sunday September 15th guests can opt for the 3-course meal for $44. Several choices from the Antipasto and Second Course menu that include homemade pasta.
Their private dining room is available on Tuesday’s through July and Tuesday & Wednesday’s in August for dinner and a movie. Parties of 8-10 people can reserve the room at no cost but dinner service is required. Call 480-990-9500 to make a dinner reservation or to reserve the room.
Elote Pizza back by popular demand at Fired Pie
All 21 locations of the locally owned fast casual pizza concept has brought back the street corn inspired and topped pizza (and more toppings) for a limited time. The pizza can be made with tradition, cauliflower & gluten-free dough.
Summer cool down seasonal menu at Thirsty Lion Gastropub
The Phoenix area’s 4 locations will start serving the new dishes from July 8th – September 19th. Spicy Shrimp Ceviche and Seared Atlantic Sea Scallops are a couple of the new dishes. Cocktails including Raspberry Mint Mule-jito and Jalapeno Paloma Margarita are a couple of the new adult beverages available.
July 4th celebrations around Phoenix
As you can imagine many Phoenix restaurants and bars are celebrating the red, white & blue with traditional foods, beers and more. Have fun and stay safe. Happy birthday America.
Don’t forget to check out my podcast, Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.
Arizona and family -owned Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen opened its newest restaurant in Gilbert with a limited schedule. Currently opened Thursday – Sunday the new location will gradually open on other days in the coming weeks. Picazzo’s originally started in Sedona serving organic and healthy pizzas, salads and other Italian specialties but in the years since have grown to include the flavors of Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican ingredients.
“We can’t wait to welcome the Gilbert community to Picazzo’s!” says Picazzo’s Operations Manager, Chris Disney. It’s our pleasure to offer a variety of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and allergy-friendly items. Families can enjoy a meal at Picazzo’s and get their favorite dishes, whether they have special dietary needs or preferences or not. We’ve actually had guests cry with happiness when they realize they can order exactly what they want, how they want it!”
The menu in Gilbert is the same as the other locations and includes 95% organic ingredients for its pizzas, pastas, entrees, salads and more. Guests will notice a new modern look that will be rolled out to the other restaurants in the future. A separate vegan menu is available using plant- based ingredients from Follow Your Heart, Daiya and Beyond Meat.
Picazzo’s new modern look
The restaurant’s spacious 4,300 square feet includes a roll-up garage door connecting the indoors and outdoors. “We thought a lot about our consumer when designing the new restaurant,” explains Disney. “That means creating a space that can accommodate solo diners and couples just as easily as large families. We also focused on selecting aesthetically pleasing textures and surfaces on everything from countertops to walls to the patio decking. We think our guests are going to love the experience here – and we hope they take advantage of the Instagram-worthy setting for taking photos with family and friends!”
Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen is at 884 E. Williams Field Rd. Gilbert 85295 with the other locations in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Tempe/Chandler, Arrowhead and Sedona. To find the location closest to you and to view the menu, visit their website.
As we said goodbye to April we said hello to the first Arizona location of contemporary Japanese restaurant JINYA Ramen. Downtown Chandler’s New Square development is where franchisee Daradee Olson opened the 40th location of the concept that was founded in 2010. Olso discovered the concept while vacationing in Utah and having lived & traveled in Southeast Asia she wanted to bring the concept home to Arizona.
JINYA Ramen offers bowls of broths slow cooked for 20 hours and handmade noodles. Fuji water is used for broths because its 99.9% free of impurities and noodles go through a special aging process before they are cooked. 12 signature ramen are on the menu and including chicken, pork and vegetable based broths. Guests can customize their bowl with more than 25 add-ons. In addition to ramen guests can order starters, salads, small plates and rice bowls that can be prepared vegan or vegetarian.
Local and Japanese craft beers, wine and signature cocktails are available at the bar. The sake menu has been curated by both Olson and General Manager Stephanie Daniels who are certified sake sommeliers.
According to Olson, “After eating at JINYA for the first time, I knew this was the style of ramen I had been searching for in the United States. When I returned home, I immediately began the process of bringing a JINYA Ramen Bar to the Valley.” Olson is so passionate about the concept she has plans to open four more locations in greater metro Phoenix over the next four years.
Guests can enjoy themselves inside the 60 seat restaurant that includes a ramen bar or on the patio with views of downtown Chandler. The modern & sleek atmosphere includes lively music and views of the kitchen in action from the ramen bar. JINYA Chandler is at 130 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, Ariz., 85225. For more information, call 480-758-5198 or visit their website.
When the new Chompie’s Deli opens this summer it will be like going home without leaving Phoenix. The new location at 32nd St & Cactus Rd. it will be only a mile away from the original location the Borenstein family opened at 32nd St & Shea Blvd. in 1979. For us East Coast transplants it will be like going home to visit NYC.
Enter the new 27,000 square foot restaurant through the bakery and market that will also be the hub for all baking, kosher cooking, and packaged goods. The NYC styled market will offer fresh baked bagels, breads, pastry and merchandise. A barista bar will be serving coffee drinks including cold brew, espresso and a variety of caffeinated beverages. The larger location allows Chompie’s to expand its gluten-free and keto friendly baked good for the menu and retail.
Chompie’s and its new investment partner JRI Hospitality have envisioned this type of NYC experience restaurant since it decided close its Paradise Valley Mall location (closing May 17th) last year as the mall goes into re-development.
“We all are extremely excited to bring Chompie’s back to its old stomping grounds and to be a part of the revitalization of the area,” says Mark Borenstein, co-founder and owner. “We’re so humbled by the support of our loyal customers and proud of everything the Chompie’s brand has come to represent for so many — a great meal anytime, a feast for the holidays, a dozen bagels to bring to the office, a beautiful cake for a celebration, or just a really good cup of coffee or a Bloody Mary to enjoy while catching up with a longtime friend. We intend to be part of our customers’ best memories for years to come.”
NYC state of mind
Entering the restaurant guests will recognize the glitz, a mural of the NYC skyline and memorabilia including the iconic Times Square ball from New Year’s Eve. The patio will remind you of Central Park with greenery, trees and lights among the various seating including a community tables and lounge seating.
“It’s an honor for us to partner with the Borenstein family to help Chompie’s grow and develop well into the future,” says Jason Ingermanson, CEO and president of JRI. “This partnership allows the family to remain an integral part of the restaurants’ day-to-day operations while we explore opportunities to further expand the brand that they’ve worked so hard to build to what is it today.”
When the new restaurant opens it will be filled with grand opening events and fundraisers. The new restaurant will be at 3212 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix and more information is at their website.