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.

Caffe Vita joins the Phoenix coffee scene with 1st Arizona location

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.

The Tipsy Egg brings an elevated brunch experience to Chandler

With the growth of restaurants and bars in downtown Chandler locals and visitors have few breakfast options to start their day. Local developer and owner Niels Kreipke wanted to change that so he took one of his properties on the corner of Arizona Ave. and Boston St. and opened the Tipsy Egg in early May. His experience as partner with other restaurant concepts around the valley gives him the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t and so far this concept exceeds his expectations.

Encompassing 3,000 square feet the modern decor and design is eye catching and features mid-century modern booths and brass finishes. “Tipsy Egg is bringing a wide range of all age groups and is a growing destination area for locals and out of town visitors,” said Kreipke. “We are excited to provide a unique and playful menu, a welcoming indoor/outdoor bar setting and a menu that is anything but typical for our guests to enjoy.” This food first and cocktail forward concept, hence the name, is the first of what will be others throughout the valley.

Photos courtesy of Evolve Public Relations & Marketing

Bold flavors at the Tipsy Egg

The menu offers guests breakfast and lunch all day including Mom’s Post Roast Benedict (go with the Party Potatoes on the side), Yuzu Masco Mint Pancakes, a Chinese Chicken Salad and an Uptown Burrito filled with filet mignon, eggs, roasted garlic, vegetables, Gouda cheese and more. The cocktail menu offers more than Mimosas and Bloody Marys for those looking for something other than coffee or juice in the morning. The BRKFT in Bed blends Sailor Jerry Rum, butterscotch schnapps, orange juice, lemon lime soda and an orange wheel. The Early Morin Margarita features Tepozan Añejo tequila, fresh lime juice, agave, pineapple juice, lemon lime soda, homemade tajin, a lime wheel and pineapple spear. Non-alcoholic mocktails are also on the list along with a selection of Bloody Marys and local craft beers.

The Tipsy Egg is 1 E. Boston St. Chandler and is open daily from 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and is available after hours for private parties and business meetings. For more information visit 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.

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen offer Healthy Hour menu

All 6 locations (5 in Phoenix area and 1 in Sedona) kicked off the new summer Healthy Hour recently. Daily from 3 -6 p.m. enjoy popular food items and cocktails such as Baked Wings, Mama’s Meat-Za-Balls and Baked Brie for $8. Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip and Avocado Toast are $7 and Cheese Bread is $6.

Wash them down with $4 Local Drafts, glasses of house wines for $5 and Zo’s House Made Sangria for $6. Signature cocktails including the Prickly Pear Margarita and Smoky Cadillac are $7 and both use the locally owned Shrubwell‘s rimming salt.

 Dole Whip only $2 on Monday at Koibito Poke

Cool off on National Pineapple Day at the Gainey Ranch location of Koibito Poke with the the popular frozen treat. The 5 oz. Dole Whip is available all day from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Chef Brett Vibber and Pedal Haus Brewery team up for beer paired dinner

Master Brewer Derek Osborne and Wild Arizona chef Brett Vibber team up for a five-course dinner on Thursday June 30th. Dinner will take place at the brewer’s downtown Phoenix location at 214 E. Roosevelt St. starting at 6 p.m. Foraged and locally sourced dishes including Wild Mushroom Potstickers and Arizona Wagyu Brisket will be paired with Mexican Amber Lager and Haus IPA. Seats are limited and are $120 and can be reserved here.

Venezia’s Pizza in Chandler now open

The 6th location of the poplar locally owned restaurant I featured last month is now open for business. Known for pizza and wings they offer daily lunch specials and the “Slice of the Day”. Owner Domenick Montanile opened his first location in Tempe in 1998 right after graduating from ASU.

Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen + Bar now open at Chase Field

When it was announced in February that Guy Fieri would we be opening a new restaurant at Chase Field little information was known. Now we know that “Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen +Bar” has opened this week inside the new Caesars Sportsbook. Executive Chef Kayla Laasko offers scratch made food along with classic cocktails, beer & wine. Several of Fieri’s classic dishes including Trash Can Nachos and the popular Bacon Mac n Cheeseburger are on the menu along with new dishes.

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.

National Burger Day is Saturday 5/28

A favorite of many, the hamburger is celebrated all month of May and especially tomorrow. Two local restaurants are taking advantage of the American comfort food with free offerings.

Eat Up Drive In Get a Free side of fries with every burger purchase when you mention this promotion at the Arcadia restaurant.

Woo Woo BurgersBuy One Burger Get One Free when you order online for pick-up or delivery from their Chandler or Scottsdale ghost kitchens.

FiiZ soda shop opens tomorrow in Downtown Mesa

A cold refreshing soda hits the spot and Fiiz’s list of sodas has almost 60 on it. Italian sodas, smoothies, flavored coffee drinks (Choffy) and add-ons make sure you won’t go thirsty. At 52 S. Mesa Dr. this is the first of what the owner hopes to be 6-8 locations in Mesa. Snacks include pretzels, nachos, Chonuts (churro & donut) and more are also available. The new shop will open Saturday May 28th from 12-6 p.m. Regular hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. FiiZ will be closed on Sundays.

Four Peaks Brewery to give grants to 12 teachers

You have until June 30th to nominate a teacher for the “Four Peaks for Teachers” campaign. 12 teachers nationwide will be surprised with $1,000 grants for school supplies. In addition a portion of sales from its Kilt Lifter Amber Ale will be set aside to purchase 10,000 school supply kits for teachers in 5 states. Four Peaks is partnering with the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Rising to host kit distribution events in July.

The brewery’s 8th Street pub in Tempe is hosting several specials for teachers through July 31st.

  • Weekly food specials — $1 from each special is donated to the nonprofit Four Peaks Charities to help fund the Four Peaks For Teachers program.
  • Teacher Tuesday “All Day Happy Hour” featuring $4 pints through July 31.
  • “Buy a Teacher a Beer” tear pad program…these are pint tear pads — pub patrons can buy one, put them on the wall and then teachers can pull them off and redeem them.

Barro’s Pizza raising money for Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children in June

The community minded , family owned restaurant with 47 locations in Arizona is raising money for the 7th year for children and families affected by pediatric cancer. Along with Pepsi they will donate up to $40,000 from sales from any lunch special until June 30th. Lunch hours vary by location.

Food and drink specials at Morning Squeeze for Pride Month

The Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix locations share the love and support of the LGBTQ community with 2 specials in June. Pride Punch ($10) is rum cocktail with peach schnapps, pineapple & lemon juice and a melon liqueur. It’s garnished with a candy rainbow ribbon. Stuffed French Toast ($14) layers cream filling between two slices of the restaurant’s original French toast and tops it with colorful garnishes.

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.

Sid’s Garage bringing high energy vibe to Desert Ridge Marketplace

Phoenix is getting a new burger restaurant when Sid’s Garage starts serving high intensity burgers, cocktails with an attitude on May 15th. With 2 locations in Idaho, owners Nicole and Will Primavera bring their industrial vibe to The District next to AMC theatres where guests will also enjoy adult games, an outdoor patio and a private dining room for group events.

Get ready to chow down on burgers, award-winning cocktails and boozy shakes not for the faint of heart. Burgers include the Boss Hog Burger – half-pound Wagyu and Black Angus Snake River Farm beef patty, 48-hour roasted pork belly, onion rings with scratch-made Sriracha-bourbon sauce or Sid’s version of Bacon and Eggs – four pieces of candied bacon suspended above two flash-fried deviled eggs with a honey mustard dipping reduction.

Enjoy favorite cocktails and shakes such as the Velvet Revolver made with vodka, tyku, lime, muddled cucumber and sriracha; the 420 shake has crumbled Oreo, vanilla ice cream with a buttercream rimmed glass and a huge dark chocolate ice cream sandwich; the Fat Elvis shake includes a peanut butter rim, raspberry jam, vanilla bean ice cream, crunch berries and a full size strawberry short cake bar.

Sid’s Garage will be open daily at 11 a.m. until  9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information visit 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.

Pyro to be first restaurant at The Grove

The intersection at 44th St. & Camelback Rd. has always been one of the busiest in Phoenix and will get even busier when the mixed-used development The Grove opens later this year. The first restaurant to announce it will open there will be the Japanese bistro Pyro from Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant Group.

“The Flagship Restaurant Group team and I are very excited to bring Pyro to The Grove,” said Nick Hogan, CEO and co-founder of Flagship Restaurant Group. “We felt that it was the right time to bring our brand-new concept to this location, as there is much development taking place in-market and residents and travelers in Phoenix are always looking for the right mix of creativity coupled with responsibly-sourced fare. Everything we serve our guests is fully transparent, from the farms the vegetables come from to the areas where each of our fish is sourced. We are looking forward to another new chapter in the city.”

Flagship’s other concepts in Phoenix are Châm Pang Lanes, Palma and Ghost Donkey in the Roosevelt Row Arts District.

What to expect at Pyro

When opened Pyro will be 4,200 square feet including large outdoor patio with an open hearth and full bar. The restaurant uses an open flame for cooking sustainably sourced seafood and proteins. The fire will give each dish its own unique layers of flavor and texture. The cocktail bar will offer classic and signature cocktails from a wide variety of spirits and wine.

“The Grove is dedicated to bringing innovative and exclusive dining options to the Valley with a sophisticated flair,” said Mike Ebert, managing partner at RED Development. “Pyro is setting the standard for the caliber of culinary offerings we’ll be welcoming at The Grove, we couldn’t be more honored to announce an original concept as the first restaurant to call it home.”

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

Birdcall opening its first Arizona location in Scottsdale next month

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.

Calzone Connection now available online from Crust Simply Italian

Specialty calzones are now available for delivery or pick-up from the kitchens of Crust Simply Italian locations in Scottsdale and Chandler. The new concept, Calzone Connection offers football sized calzones for sharing or a very hungry person with fillings such as lobster ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs and linguini Alfredo with bacon.

Founder Mike Merendino came up the idea for Calzone Connection from years in Italian restaurants for serving staff meals that aren’t on the menu. “We go beyond the dishes we’re serving – we love to create our own,” Merendino explained. “These menu items we put together are what we used to eat growing up in my father’s pizzeria.”

During the recent pandemic when staff at his restaurants would eat together and have fun creating new things to eat. “We started making these wild calzones,” he recalled. Soon after staff would to have them made again and asking if they could start serving them to guests.

If you’re craving a calzone you can order online from 11 a.m. to 9:00p.m. daily & 11am to 9:30p.m. Friday and Saturday. Pick-up or delivery from third party delivery services is available.  Calzones can be picked up at Crust’s restaurants at 8300 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, and 10 N. San Marcos Pl., Chandler. A third location will in Gilbert will be opening at Williams Field & Recker Rd. later this year.

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.

Restaurant concept from Guy Fieri to open at Chase Field

There may or may not be baseball this Spring at Chase Field but things will still be happening when Food Network star Guy Fieri opens a new restaurant at the ballpark. The restaurant concept has yet to be made public to be located in the new state-of-the-art Caesars Sportsbook on the plaza outside the stadium in the former Game 7 Grill.

“We believe this is a rare and exciting opportunity for individuals who are driven to deliver a high-quality, high-service dining experience for guests and sports fans,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “This is a chance to get in on the ground level of a unique, fresh and fun concept in food, gaming and baseball at Chase Field.”

Fieri is popular in the Phoenix area making frequent stops in town for his show “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” that has featured over 30 Arizona restaurants. Last year his delivery only restaurant concept Flavortown Kitchen opened in the valley. This dine-in restaurant will be open year round and anchor the new 20,000 square foot two story venue. A a full bar and extensive menu, a VIP lounge, sports betting space, indoor & outdoor seating and big screen TVs are all features at the sportsbook.

Restaurant partners Caesars and the Diamondbacks are looking to hire management and service team members for the new restaurant. Candidates can click this link to apply.

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