Just five months after unveiling Postino in Gilbert, prolific Valley restaurateur Craig DeMarco has leased the other half of the building for a brand-new Mexican concept.
Postino opened its third Valley location in March – DeMarco’s first foray into the East Valley – taking over the south half of the former GrainBelt GrillHouse building in downtown’s historic district.
DeMarco says the popularity of so-called Postino East has exceeded all expectations. After months of negotiations, he’s now signed a lease for the north half of the building as well.
There’s no name or other details yet for the Mexican restaurant, which likely won’t open until early 2013.
Besides Postino, DeMarco’s restaurant empire includes Windsor, Churn, La Grande Orange and Chelsea’s Kitchen. DeMarco’s opening another new concept, Federal Pizza, Oct. 9 at Central and Camelback in Phoenix.
All but LGO and Chelsea’s fall under the umbrella of Upwards Projects, the partnership formed by DeMarco and his wife, Kris, and Wyatt and Lauren Bailey.
The Postino/Mexican building has housed several restaurants in recent years. Before GrainBelt, it was Mahogany Run, Gonzo’s All-American Grill, Heartthrob Music Café and Rock City Bar & Grill.
New owners split the building into two spaces. Last year, James Beard-nominated chef Silvana Salcido Esparza was set to open a spinoff of her acclaimed Barrio Cafe in the north half, but the deal fell through.
DeMarco’s two restaurants join an already impressive restaurant lineup near the intersection of Gilbert Road and Page Avenue, including Joe’s Real BBQ, Liberty Market, The Farmhouse, Romeo’s Euro Cafe and Oregano’s.