May 18, 2024


Free For All Food

December 2020 Restaurant Openings and Closings: Oh hi, Ofrenda; Goodbye Byblos Restaurant


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What a month (and year) for the Phoenixland restaurant scene. We saw additional locations of local favorites (Over Easy, etc.), swanky-cool spots like the new Ofrenda, and our first Cold Beers & Pizza — as well as takeout and delivery-only concepts. Of course, more restaurants have left the Valley food world. Let’s get into the details.


Angry Crab Shack

6360 South 35th Avenue

The Arizona seafood eatery Angry Crab Shack has opened its 12th location, this one in Laveen.

AZ Pho & Grill

885 North 54th Street, #5, Chandler

The Vietnamese restaurant AZ Pho & Grill has opened its third location, this time in west Chandler. Menu items include pho and noodles, banh mi, and stir-fried specials.

California Fish Grill

1855 South Stapley Drive, #101, Mesa

The first Arizona location of California Fish Grill, a fast-casual seafood restaurant out of Los Angeles, has opened in Mesa.

Cold Beers & Pizza

4222 North Scottsdale Road, #102, Scottsdale

Neighboring the original location of Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers in Old Town Scottsdale, Cold Beers & Pizza serves thin-crust and Neapolitan-style pizza as well as Italian sandwiches and pasta dishes. The Square One Concepts restaurant will also offer more than 50 beers (draft, cans, and bottles), wine, and cocktails.

The first Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant has arrived in Scottsdale.EXPAND

The first Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant has arrived in Scottsdale.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant

7361 East Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Scottsdale

The upscale-yet-casual restaurant chain Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants has opened its first western United States location in Scottsdale. The menu offers upscale American-fusion fare in the form of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and seafood-heavy entrees. There’s also a Napa-style tasting room with more than 60 wines to sample.

Fly Bye

5632 North Seventh Street

Fox Restaurant Concepts’ latest thing is called Fly Bye — a to-go-only stop-in over at The Yard. The quick-service spot keeps it simple, offering Detroit-style square pan pizza and crispy chicken. That’s it. Fly Bye is open in the former Little Cleo’s from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria To-Go

7127 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has opened its first ghost kitchen, called Grimaldi’s Pizzeria To-Go, at the self-serve food hall Kitchen United MIX. The satellite kitchen offers pizzas, calzones, salads, cheesecakes, and more from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

A look at the new 6,400-square-foot Luckys Indoor Outdoor.EXPAND

A look at the new 6,400-square-foot Luckys Indoor Outdoor.

Luckys Indoor Outdoor

Luckys Indoor Outdoor

817 North Second Street

A recent concept from Fork & Dagger Hospitality and Julian Wright, Luckys Indoor Outdoor is a roomy bar (like, 6,400 square feet) with beer and cocktails just off Roosevelt Row. Guests can pair signature cocktails like the Irish Bird with dishes from onsite food trucks like Salsa Bites, Cousins Maine Lobster, Eurhaus, From The Wildfire, and Estero Beach Tacos.


1900 East Fifth Street, Tempe

A delivery and pickup-only concept, Moonbowls has opened its first Arizona location at the Tempe Food Court ghost kitchen. The menu of Korean fare offers bowls like Korean Hot Chicken, starters like sweet potato potstickers, and house-made chia pudding.

MrBeast Burger

A delivery-only restaurant, MrBeast Burger (launched by popular YouTube personality Jimmy Donaldson) is now delivering smashed burgers, grilled cheese or chicken tender sandwiches, seasoned crinkle fries, and chocolate chip cookies to folks in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Scottsdale.

Empanadas from Ofrenda in Cave Creek.

Empanadas from Ofrenda in Cave Creek.



7100 East Cave Creek Road, #151, Cave Creek

Cave Creek has a new Latin-influenced restaurant called Ofrenda (or “offering”) opened by the same team behind Taco Guild in central Phoenix. The eatery offers an extensive wine, tequila, and cocktail list, as well as pork empanadas, lobster tacos, and Tomahawk steak.

Over Easy

1941 West Guadalupe Road, #105, Mesa

The local breakfast restaurant Over Easy has opened its eighth location, this one in southwest Mesa.

Sotol Modern Cocktail Kitchen is the first rooftop bar and restaurant in Gilbert.EXPAND

Sotol Modern Cocktail Kitchen is the first rooftop bar and restaurant in Gilbert.

Sotol Modern Cocktail Kitchen

Sotol Modern Cocktail Kitchen

313 North Gilbert Road, #301, Gilbert

Sotol Modern Cocktail Kitchen in the Heritage District is the first rooftop restaurant and bar in the city of Gilbert. The kitchen offers nopales fritas, Apache Soup, and Arizona Stew while the cocktails include the Passion of the Elote and Sotol So Good.

Tacos Tijuana

4909 East Chandler Boulevard

The local taco eatery (and former food truck operation) Tacos Tijuana has opened its seventh Valley location, this time in Ahwatukee.

Thai Chili 2 Go

1495 North Higley Road, Gilbert

The local quick-service Thai restaurant Thai Chili 2 Go has opened its 11th Valley location, this one found at Gilbert City Gate.

The Stone

1870 West Main Street, Mesa

The area surrounding H Mart in west Mesa is filling fast with some great new (and many established) Asian restaurants. Another recent one includes The Stone, a Korean tofu eatery offering bulgogi, soups, hot pots, and more.

The carne asada tacos served on house-made Flamin' Hot Cheetos corn tortillas look striking.EXPAND

The carne asada tacos served on house-made Flamin’ Hot Cheetos corn tortillas look striking.

Tru Tacos

Tru Tacos PHX

4041 East Thomas Road, #101

Tru Tacos PHX is a pop-up street taco stand set on the patio at Jewel’s Bakery & Café. Options include al pastor on house-made corn tortillas, carne asada on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos corn tortillas, and nopal on house-made prickly pear tortillas. There’s also beer, agua fresca, and salsa. The stand is open from 6 p.m. till sold out on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday (temporarily closed till January 7).

Top Cup

7115 South Val Vista Drive, Gilbert

South Gilbert has recently welcomed Top Cup, a coffee shop and quick breakfast and lunch spot. Menu items include turkey frittatas, sweet potato and cream cheese toast, goat cheese salads, and Caprese panini. There are also signature coffees like Macanilla, and classic orders like a nitro house cold brew.

Kavala in Gilbert is now closed.EXPAND

Kavala in Gilbert is now closed.

Lauren Cusimano

(For a running list of restaurant closures since March 2020, go here.)

Byblos Restaurant

The family-owned, old-school Lebanese eatery Byblos Restaurant on lower Mill Avenue has closed. Byblos had been in business for more than 30 years, serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare. COVID was not cited as the main culprit; rather, it was the death of co-owner Samir Mirza in August.

Buddyz Chicago Pizzeria

The Gilbert pizza spot Buddyz Chicago Pizzeria has closed. However, the owning Scarnato family is said to be opening a new franchise concept called Vero Chicago Pizza in early 2021.

The G.O.A.T. Sports Grill

Despite opening this June, The G.O.A.T. Sports Grill has closed in northeast Mesa.

JC’s Steakhouse

The Gilbert-based JC’s Steakhouse, which opened in December 2014, is closed as of December 31. “We have tried our best to stay afloat, but with the COVID restrictions and people not going out as much right now, we have been drowning and there is no lifeguard on duty,” reads an announcement on social media.

Kavala Restaurant & Café

Serving Greek-meets-Italian comfort food, Kavala Restaurant & Café has closed in Gilbert despite its Pastichio Bechamel dish.

See what Valley restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.

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