Closings

Detroit Coney Grill closes Superstition Springs Mall location

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, January 17, 2018

DetriotConeyGrillMesa011718Detroit Coney Grill has closed its year-old location at Superstition Springs Mall in east Mesa due to a ‘‘lack of business,’’ according to a Facebook post.

The locally owned hot dog and burger concept still operates its 5-year-old original location in Tempe and a 3-year-old location in downtown Phoenix.

Besides Detroit-style coneys, its menu offers Motor City favorites like Better Made chips and Faygo soda.

According to the Facebook post, Detroit Coney Grill is looking for another location in the East Valley.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

elpalacioanthony0823162018 already has turned out to be a year of extreme highs and lows for Anthony Serrano. Just four days after accomplishing one of his career goals by appearing on the popular Food Network show ‘‘Chopped,’’ the chef is closing his eight-year-old El Palacio Mexican Restaurant & Cantina in Chandler.

The restaurant’s final day will be next Sunday, Jan. 14, Serrano announced Saturday in a heartfelt video message on El Palacio’s Facebook page:

‘‘I’m making this decision with tremendous sadness and reluctance. I’ve spent eight years of my life trying to make the restaurant profitable using all the means at my disposal. We’ve been featured multiple times on local and national TV. We’ve won multiple awards at culinary competitions across the country. We’ve tried using various marketing companies. We’ve tried launching great promotions. All on top of offering great food and service at a great value.

‘‘All this success and hard work, however, has not translated into enough new customers to support us. Sure, in the course of eight years we’ve made our share of mistakes and missteps, but we’ve always tried to correct and learn from them. However, after eight long years we’ve realized everything – even a restaurant – has an expiration date.

‘‘I’ve poured my heart, soul, and health into this business, not to mention an enormous amount of my time, energy, and my own financial resources, as well as those provided by my family. After much time and reflection, I’ve come to realize the strain is just too much and this restaurant is no longer viable from a business perspective. …

‘‘Unfortunately, the public’s unbreakable loyalty to chains and big corporations, the popularity of fast-casual restaurants, and the recent increases in the minimum wage are a few of the leading factors in this decision.

‘‘I’m also very sorry my amazing staff and managers now have to look for work. Their dedication and hard work are a true testament to what makes this country great and why I love small businesses so much.

‘‘In addition, I want to thank our wonderful and loyal guests that have not only become friends but part of my family. Your loyalty and love make this decision tougher than it already is. We have a lot of great and happy memories at El Palacio, and we hope you do as well.

‘‘Our pride and honor has kept us from sharing our struggles publicly, but because of the substantial financial burden this has caused my family, I’m launching a GoFundMe account to help us honor our final financial commitments and hopefully not close on such a low note.

‘‘I wish everyone the very best, and I’m excited to start the next chapter of my life, whatever that may be. We hope you come in one last time before we close up Jan. 14.

‘‘Remember, there are plenty of small businesses just like us that are drowning in a sea of chains and need your support. Always try to dine and shop local and support your local business.

‘‘Thank you and God bless.’’

Serrano tells MXSW his immediate plans after Jan. 14 are to remain in the East Valley to work on his blog and his brand.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Talebu Coffee & Wine Cafe closes after 5-year run in Chandler

BY Jess Harter Friday, January 5, 2018

TalebuCoffee010518Looks like 2017 claimed one final restaurant before officially closing its ledgers: Talebu Coffee & Wine Cafe in Chandler.

The popular hangout and live-music venue opened in December 2012 on the northeast corner of Alma School and Warner.

Besides coffee drinks and wine, it offered a menu of bruschetta, salads, and sandwiches.

According to a source, the landlord isn’t renewing any leases in the strip mall.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

MyBigFatGreek121817There’s a double whammy of closures in downtown Tempe this week.

My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, a Valley-born concept that’s had plenty of ups and downs over its 11-plus years on Mill Avenue, has closed. It was the last remaining location of the once-fast-growing Mediterranean fast-casual chain.

A couple of blocks north on Mill, the Corner Bakery Cafe also has closed. The Dallas-based chain, similar to Wildflower Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery, opened in September 2015. It also closed locations in north Scottsdale and near the Biltmore in Phoenix this week.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Papago Brewing to close Scottsdale taproom on Dec. 2

BY Jess Harter Friday, November 10, 2017

PapagoBrewing033016One of Arizona’s most iconic craft beer venues – Papago Brewing in Scottsdale – announced today it will close its longtime taproom in three weeks. Its final day will be Saturday, Dec. 2.

The move was not totally unexpected. Its large shopping plaza on the southwest corner of Scottsdale and McDowell – which has been the taproom’s home since home brewers Ron Kloth, Paul Gunn and Bruce McConnell launched Papago in 2001 – has long been scheduled for demolition.

The closure will not affect production of Papago’s line of branded beers – including its best-selling Orange Blossom Ale – which were brewed under contract at various breweries before being sold to Huss Brewing last year.

According to a post on Papago’s Facebook page, the taproom owners are looking for a new retail location.

In the meantime, the taproom is offering 25% off all bottles and cans while supplies last.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails closes in Phoenix

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Post image for Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails closes in Phoenix

Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails, the 2-year-old younger sibling of Crudo, has closed its doors.

The restaurant, which offered a unique menu of Southern favorites with Italian influences, opened in August 2015 on Seventh Street, just south of Bethany Home Road, in Phoenix.

According to an announcement on Okra’s website:

‘‘As of yesterday, we’ve made the tough decision to close the doors on our sophomore effort, after co-owner Maureen McGrath moved to California. Cullen (Campbell, co-owner and chef) will now be focusing 100% of his passion at Crudo, with a slew of special dinners, seasonal menu changes, and more to come.’’

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill closes 3 Valley restaurants

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Post image for Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill closes 3 Valley restaurants

Less than a week after Romano’s Macaroni Grill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, another well-known restaurant chain has announced huge cost-cutting changes.

This week it’s Arizona-born Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, which has closed three of its five Valley locations. The closures are:

  • Downtown Tempe (pictured)
  • Scottsdale Fashion Square
  • 16th Street and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix

The two remaining locations are Chandler and northeast Phoenix, which Z’Tejas says are profitable.

The chain also closed one of its three locations in Texas.

Z’Tejas, which launched in 1989, has struggled in recent years. It filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and was sold to an Austin, Texas, group.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Shocked? Alice Cooper’stown closes in downtown Phoenix

BY Jess Harter Monday, October 23, 2017

Post image for Shocked? Alice Cooper’stown closes in downtown Phoenix

Looks like head coach Earl Watson might not have been the only victim of the Phoenix Suns’ poor play over the weekend.

Alice Cooper’stown, Alice Cooper’s famed music-and-sports-themed restaurant and bar across the street from the Suns’ arena in downtown Phoenix, closed Sunday.

The Valley ‘‘shock-rock’’ star opened his restaurant in 1998 – when the Suns were making their 10th straight playoff appearance. In addition, the Suns were sharing the arena with the NHL’s Coyotes, who had just moved to the Valley two years earlier.

The venue quickly became one of the most popular pre- and post-game destinations for the teams’ combined 162 annual home games (plus playoffs) as well as those of the Diamondbacks at nearby Chase Field.

Even after the Coyotes moved to Glendale in 2003, Alice Cooper’stown continued to ride the success of the Suns, who made the playoffs five times in the next six years, including three trips to the conference finals.

Since 2010, however, downtown Phoenix’s sports success – as well as the crowds at Alice Cooper’stown – have waned considerably. The Suns have failed to make the playoffs since 2010, the D-Backs since 2011 until this year.

No official explanation for the restaurant’s closure was given – its Facebook page even has been deleted – but insiders had been expecting the closure to follow shortly after the D-Backs’ season ended.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Post image for Riazzi’s Italian Garden in Tempe closes after 72 years, to be replaced by Quartiere?

Riazzi’s Italian Garden in Tempe has closed after 72 years in business.

Mary Pacinelli moved from Pennsylvania to the Valley in 1945 and opened the restaurant with her youngest daughter, Emma Riazzi.

The original location was at 15th Avenue and McDowell in Phoenix, but after two years the restaurant moved east to 53rd Street and Van Buren, where it thrived for four decades.

Displaced by freeway construction in 1989, Riazzi’s – by then owned by Emma’s son James and run by James’ children James Jr. and Debra – moved to its final location on Mill Avenue, halfway between Broadway and Southern.

RiazzisExterior081517

State records show East Valley restaurateur Erick Geryol has applied for a liquor license for a new restaurant called Quartiere at Riazzi’s location.

Geryol, who hasn’t responded to MXSW queries about Quartiere for the past two weeks, already owns three local restaurants: Boulders on Broadway and Spokes on Southern in Tempe and Boulders on Southern in Mesa.

Quartiere would be his fourth.

Quartiere, by the way, is derived from the Italian word quarto, or “fourth.’’

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Modern Grove closes NE Phoenix location, only Scottsdale one remains

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Post image for Modern Grove closes NE Phoenix location, only Scottsdale one remains

The rollercoaster ride continues for Modern Grove.

The restaurant-bar-grocery concept from developer Aaron Klusman, founder of Chandler-based Zoyo Yogurt, debuted in Flagstaff in 2013 and expanded quickly with locations in northeast Phoenix in 2014, Mesa in 2015, and north Scottsdale in 2016.

Almost immediately, however, the fledgling chain began to fold. The Flagstaff location closed in 2014, and Mesa followed suit earlier this year.

Now, the northeast Phoenix location at Tatum and Greenway also has closed.

The sole remaining location – at the OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale – goes by two new names: Views and Docktails. Each has its own menu.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts