Anoche Cantina coming to Mill Ave. in August

Bellevue, Washington based Ascend Hospitality Group is planing to open its first Arizona location in downtown Tempe later this month. Anoche Cantina will be the first of a new restaurant and nightlife concept from AHG’s Director of Marketing and Brand Design Shelby Elmore and will be the first concept she’s co-created. Located in the former El Hefe space Anoche will serve innovative Latin inspired food and cocktails including a build-your-own-margarita bar.

“We’ve had our eye on Tempe for a while and when the opportunity arose for us to take prime real estate on Mill Ave., we jumped at the chance,” said Elaina M. Morris, AHG CEO and president. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring, what we call, the ‘AHG Difference’ to the Valley and join such a thriving community.” 

Thomas Lawson, formerly of Riot Hospitality Group was brought on as AHG had wanted to partner with a local expert operator to help execute its vision.  “It’s nice to be a part of Mill Ave.’s resurgence, this is a great area with rich history,” Lawson said. “Anoche will provide a unique experience to help elevate the ever-expanding community. Through carefully crafted eats and one-of-a-kind nightlife, we look to not just breathe new life into the area but give the area what it’s been craving.”

The scene at Anoche Cantina

Anoche Cantina will have 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space including a shaded patio to enjoy our nice weather. Those there for the nightlife will experience a high quality sound and lighting system that will make Anoche the best party on Mill Ave. Just in time for football season, a sports bar concept from AHG, six40rty is planned for a September opening next door. Large screen TVs, lawn games, upscale bar snacks and witty cocktails will be available indoors and outdoors at the 8,000 square foot sports bar. Both concepts are looking to hire front and back of the house team members and those interested can apply in person or email Lawson at thomas@ascendhg.com.

Anoche Cantina is at 640 S. Mill Ave Tempe 85281.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Hotel Valley Ho’s next Sip + Shop is next week

Tickets for the Olé! Latin Flavors themed marketplace is available at Eventbrite for next Saturday July 16th. Entry is FREE to taste local foods and shop for artisan goods. It happens once at month from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Next Thursday July 14th is their monthly Versus Series Dinner with a Bastille Day celebration. Executive Chef Russell LaCasce pairs each course with a beer from Greenwood Brewing and wine from Eco Terreno Wines. Founder Megan Greenwood and Winemaker Mark Lyon will be joining the French inspired dinner. Seats are $109++ and dinner starts at 6 p.m. Call 480-421-7997 to reserve your seat.

Summer beer tours at PHX Beer Co.

Beat the heat with a cold beer and 30- minute tour of the local brewery at 3002 E. Washington in Phoenix. Tours are for those 21 and over and offered on Sundays at 1:00 or 3:00 p.m. The tour is $29 per person and includes a beef flight, an order of pretzel bites with beer fondue and a t-shirt.

Margarita’s to-go from Z’ Tejas

Join the new Jug Club and take home gallons of their famous margaritas for cool summer drinking. Two memberships are available with packages starting at $500 for a monthly gallon 12 times a year. A weekly membership is $2000 for the year gets you 52 gallons (a gallon a week). Each gallon serves 10-12 people and comes with chips and salsa. If you’re not ready to join single gallons are $60 with a “Beat the Heat” deal, they’re usually $80, Skinny, organic and top shelf margaritas are available at various prices. Jugs can be picked up at their Scottsdale or Chandler locations.

Cider Corps hours at new Gilbert taproom

The new taproom serving award-winning ciders are Tuesday -Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Brightside Burgers are available during those same hours. The taproom is at 685 S. Gilbert Rd.

B & B Cocktail Lounge now open in Scottsdale

The new cocktail lounge is open Wednesday-Saturday at 5 p.m. is next to their sister concept Bourbon & Bones Chophouse on Scottsdale Rd.

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

The Wine Collective of Scottsdale opens to feature Arizona wines

A new retail wine shop and wine bar quietly opened in downtown Scottsdale in April featuring almost all Arizona wines. The Wine Collective of Scottsdale is owned by wine industry veteran Zoya Vora- Shah who has several decades of wine industry experience in Arizona and around the country. Several Arizona wineries have tasting rooms nearby dedicated to their wines but The Wine Collective features about 40 offerings from many wineries around Arizona. Wines by the glass start at $8 and most bottles retail for less than $40.

“There are so many excellent Arizona wines,” Vora-Shah said. “But not everyone is familiar with them or knows which ones to try. I wanted a tasting room that was virtually 100 percent Arizona wines. That’s why I opened The Wine Collective.” She does offer a couple of sparkling wines from New Mexico’s Gruet Winery.

Summer specials for locals at The Wine Collective of Scottsdale

The Wine Collective of Scottsdale offers locals who show an Arizona ID summer specials to include:

  • June: Sip four two-ounce pours of wines on a theme with a flight for just $15 (normally $18-22). Sample light, crisp and mineral-driven selections with the Gold Rush; enjoy the refreshing Rosé All Day; try a mix of red, white and rosé and Swing Both Ways; or tell your wine concierge your preferences and Just Trust Me — they’ll do the work to surprise you with something you’ll love.
  • July: Indulge in a gourmet food pairing with 20 percent off any nosh boards, which feature the highest quality artisan meats and cheeses and local sweets from Caroline’s Chocolates.
  • August: Purchase a bottle to imbibe on-site for the normal retail price with no corkage fee.

The shop hosts parties and a monthly “Meet the Winemaker” tasting which sold out in both May and June. Vora-Shah is looking forward to being included on the Scottsdale Wine Trail and joining the 6 other tasting rooms nearby. The Wine Collective of Scottsdale is at 4020 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85251 and opens Tuesday- Sunday at 11 a.m. For more information see the website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

The Ostrich brings in new talent for new craft cocktails

The downtown Chandler speakeasy starts a new era in announcing 5 new hires. They welcomed Craft Operations Manager Tyler Zhorne, Craft Bar Manager Jared Ammon, lead bartender Samantha Dengler, bartender Adam Slaton and server Tyler Yenkala to the team. With the new hires comes a new reverse happy hour to accommodate hospitality employees and collaborations with other local bars and restaurants for events & specials.

Society by EVO opens for dinner tonight in Tempe

Announced in January, Society by EVO opens tonight night at 4p.m. according to co-founder Nick Neuman’s Facebook page. The hip & high energy restaurant in Tempe will serve top notch cocktails and food until 1:30 a.m. every night. The menu will feature popular dishes from Neuman’s Scottsdale restaurant EVO along with new Mediterranean influenced dishes. A grand opening is scheduled for next Friday, March 25th.

Mother Road Brewing & Rombauer Vineyards battle it out at Zuzu

It’s beer vs. wine at the Hotel Valley Ho’s Versus Series Dinner next Thursday, March 24th. Seats are still available for when the Flagstaff brewer meets the popular Napa Valley winery paired with Chef Russell LaCasce’s has special four course menu. Seats are $159 ++ per person and you can make a reservation by calling 480-421-7997

Mesquite Fresh Street Mex opens new location in Gilbert

The newest location opens Saturday March 19th is the first that is walk-up and drive-thru only for the locally owned fast casual concept. During the grand opening a “Golden Ticket” promotion will give free burritos for a year to several winners. The new location is at 4875 S. Val Vista Dr.

The James Beard Foundation narrows down list of Award finalist.

The list of 15 Arizona nominees was whittled down to 4 finalists for the June 13th awards ceremony.

Outstanding Restaurateur– Chris Bianco, Tratto, Pane Bianco, and Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Best New Restaurant- Bacanora, Phoenix

Outstanding Baker- Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ

Best Chef: Southwest- Giovanni Scorzo, Andreoli Italian Grocer, Scottsdale, AZ

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.

Tom Kaufman opens Bottle & Bean Coffee House & Wine Shop in Ocotillo

Restaurateur Tom Kaufman and his business partner Spike Lawrence have single handily built the downtown Ocotillo restaurant scene. The south Chandler neighborhood can thank them for such restaurants as Rock Lobster, The Living Room, CHoP Chandler and Sea & Smoke. The pair have added the new Bottle & Bean Coffee House & Wine Shop to their collection of restaurants.

The new coffee shop and wine bar opens today serving scratch made breakfast and lunch created by Chef Chris George. Tom Kaufman has been in and around the valley’s restaurant and wine scene for more than 25 years opening Rancho Pinot Grille and Humble Pie before opening The Living Room and other concepts. A certified sommelier with a passion for wine he says, “At Bottle & Bean, we showcase a variety of wines from around the world, including many of my favorites. For our bottle-to-go offerings, we’re staying competitive with major retailers and passing along great value to wine enthusiasts.”. Beers and wine merchandise are also available and local coffee roaster Infusion provides the beans for coffee and espresso drinks.

The menu includes dishes such as a Quinoa Breakfast Burrito, Beefsteak Tomato Toast and a Southwest Chicken Sausage Frittata. Lunch offers sandwiches, salads and bowls including the Steak Sandwich and the Veggie Bowl. The restaurant is open from 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. but can extend hours at night for private parties up to 50 people. Prix Fixe menus are available for $50, $70 & $90 per person for private dining.

The Bottle & Bean can seat up to 130 people inside and on the patio. Lawn seating offers lounge chairs and space for picnic like dining. It is located at 2577 W. Queen Creek Rd. Chandler 85248. For more information visit their website.

 

 

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

House of Tricks owners retiring and closing in 2022.

Robin & Bob Trick have been a staple on the downtown Tempe food & wine scene for over 3 decades, before there was a food & wine scene. They’ve decided to retire and broke the sad news on their Facebook page that they will be closing their popular restaurant at the end of June 2022. Until then they will continue to serve happy hour & dinner Mondays thru Saturdays. Thank you for your contribution to the Tempe food & wine scene, they deserve a great send off into retirement.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria launches winter for a limited time

Margarita or Margherita no matter how you spell it, it’s on the new menu at all Arizona locations through March 7th. New menu items include the Margherita Pizza, Arugula Sunset Salad, a Black Cherry & a Reese’s Peanut Buttercup Cheesecake, Black Cheery Margarita & Peach Margarita.

Romeo’s Third Tuesday dinner continues next week

The popular monthly dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe in downtown Gilbert is on for next Tuesday, December 21st. The 3 course menu features Mousse of Duck Foie Gras, Pork Shank Latino & Nutella Chocolate Cheesecake. All courses are paired with wine and the dinner is only $39 per person. Call 480-962-4224 to make your reservation.

Thai Chili 2 Go opens newest location Saturday

The west valley gets the 12th location of the popular fast casual concept when it opens in Peoria on Saturday December 18th. The first 50 guests on the 18th get a free entree, then from 19th – 31st guests stopping in to the new location at 16955 N. 75th Ave. will get free order of Thai Dumplings with the purchase of an entree. To order online use promo code Peoria13 to get the free dumplings.

Garden Bar PHX is now open

Holiday cocktails and tasting boards are available at the new cocktail bar from Kim Hasaarud. The downtown Phoenix cottage at 822 N. 6th Ave. is open Thurs- Saturday from 5-10 p.m. and will offer brunch on Sunday’s at 11 a.m. starting December 26th. For more information, to order a cocktail kit or to get on the “Wait List” head to their website.

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.

 

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Myke’s Pizza now open for lunch

Good news coming from downtown Mesa, the popular pizza joint inside Cider Corps is now open for lunch. Tuesday-Sunday you can get gourmet pizza starting at 11 a.m. Follow them on Instagram for dessert and pizza specials. Throwback a cold cider from Cider Corps or a hot coffee or tea from Pair Cupworks while you’re there.

Daily Dose rolls out new Fall inspired seasonal menu

5 new menu items are now available at their Phoenix (Mid Town), Scottsdale (Old Town) and Tempe (Rio Salado) locations until Thanksgiving. Enjoy Pumpkin Crunch Pancakes, Cinnamon Churro Waffles, a Cranberry Club Sandwich, Pumpkin Latte and Apple Cider Mimosa.

The Parlour Room opens this weekend in Gilbert

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the new basement cocktail bar opens tomorrow, Saturday October 30th at 7 p.m.

Fresh Taste Meal Prep to discontinue weekly meals

Weekly family meals are being discontinued at the end of October but corporate meals, holiday meals and large meals of 35 or more are still being offered. If you’re still looking for a meal prep and delivery service Fresh Taste recommends Scottsdale’s Complete Cuisines and The Simple Chefs.

Chompie’s is opening its new location next week

Big sandwich lovers in northeast Phoenix have been waiting for the new Chompie’s to open since it closed its location at Paradise Valley Mall. Wait no more as the restaurant will be opening on Wednesday November 3rd. Expect much of the same and more, read about the new location here at my post from April.

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.

The Parlour Room to give cocktail enthusiasts a nightly experience

Those looking to get more of an experience for a night on the town will have “The Parlour Room” to visit when it opens on Devil’s Night, Saturday October 30th. The underground cocktail bar joins its sister bar The White Rabbit in downtown Gilbert in the basement courtyard of The Heritage Building at 207 N. Gilbert Rd.

“Our aim is to make an experience of the night out — one that intrigues the seasoned imbiber and is also inviting for social interactions,” explains founder Nick Medina of Medina Hospitality, the brainchild behind both concepts. “At The Parlour Room, as with The Rabbit, achieving that sense of wonderstruck is as important to us as offering the most enticing menu of mixed drinks.”

The new concept will continue the theme of Dr. O’Hare who used his apothecary & medical practice as a decoy for his prohibition speakeasy The White Rabbit. Dylan Matador, head bartender at The White Rabbit curated the cocktail menu which includes a book of specialty martinis and more. The dark & moody red lighting will give it jazzed up atmosphere and encourages guests to dress for a special night out.

For more information and to see hours of operation visit their website.

Peter Kasperski returns to the valley’s dining scene with Character

2020 brought many surprises good and bad to the valley’s dining scene. One of the biggest surprises was the return of restaurateur Peter Kasperski in December. He and valley mixologist Richie Moe III have again joined forces to open Character Distinctive Dining in the Roosevelt Arts District. The two have known each other for over 30 years going back to their days in Chicago when Moe’s father was Kasperski’s mentor.

Moe helped Kasperski open Cowboy Ciao in the 1990s then Kazmierz Wine Bar before they went their separate ways. Moe had gone on to open and run cocktail programs at Citizen Public House, The Gladly and Bourbon and Bones. Kasperski has been lying low the last few years plotting his next move since he closed Cowboy Ciao.

Photo courtesy of Modern Vision Media

Downtown Phoenix’s Character Distinctive Dining is a classic American dinner house with cuisines from around the world made using modern cooking techniques. Kasperski’s love for eclectic wines and Moe’s inventive cocktail list have also made their way downtown from Scottsdale. Some will see similarities with Cowboy Ciao especially the popular dinner events. One of those events is the monthly Somm Showdown with Peter Kasperski and a local wine sommelier go head to head picking the best pairings for a five-course dinner. The first Somm Showdown is Sunday January 24th 2021 with Synergy Fine Wines’ Steve Cannon. Seating is limited to 30 people and dinner is $90 ++ per person.

The pair are also opening Alias, a speakeasy, later this year out back of Character. Three nights a week Moe and Chef Justin “Red” Hauska will create mixology/gastronomy dinners pairing cocktails and food with science and surprises. After dinner starting at 9 p.m. Alias will become a craft cocktail bar until 2 a.m.

Character / Alias is at 218 E Portland St. Phoenix, AZ 85004. For more information check their website, Facebook and Instagram.

 

New quick service and to-go dining concept at FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel

The hospitality industry continues to adapt to the changing dining habits due to the pandemic that has burdened 2020. The latest is downtown Phoenix’s FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel which signature restaurant Match Restaurant & Lounge has transformed into Match Market & Bar. The new quick service and to-go dining concept debuted Monday October 12th after the hotel re-opened on October 1st.

“Match Market & Bar is designed to fill a much-needed void in the downtown dining and marketplace scene,” says Tim Sprague of the FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel. “MMB is a warm and inviting spot for neighbors and hotel guests alike to gather for a relaxed, comfortable and casual meal and cold drinks; a convenient place to pick up a unique gift or a specialty ingredient for a recipe; or a late-night pit-stop to grab an in-room or on-the-way-home midnight snack.”

Quick service dining options

The artisan market offers quick service breakfast, lunch and dinner along with to-go meals and wine, curbside pick-up and a pantry with staples & gifts. Locals and hotel guests can expect trunk shows and pop-up shops that will feature gifts from locals and others like those found in the curated market. The comfortable bar and lounge features specialty cocktails, an extensive wine list, an inviting patio and nightly happy hour.

“We’ve recreated our signature concept to perfectly fit the neighborhood and serve the needs of our guests — whether they are business or social travelers.” say Sprague. Hotel staff is working hard to provide a safe and healthy environment by following strict CDC guidelines. The hotel is looking to hire in several positions throughout the hotel, market & bar. Qualified applicants can submit a resume to mrkyalsky@foundrehotels.com

The Market and Kitchen is open from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily; the Espresso Bar is open from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily; and the Bar opens for service at 11:00 a.m. FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel is at 1100 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85003.

 

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