Closings

Post image for Native Grill & Wings in Ocotillo to close Saturday – will Guidepost 13 replace it?

Citing rising costs and Arizona’s minimum wage increase, Native Grill & Wings on the northeast corner of Alma School and Queen Creek in south Chandler has announced it will close its doors Saturday night.

The first thing that came to my mind: I wonder if a new Guidepost 13 is replacing it?

If you haven’t heard, the investment group that bought the Valley-based chain (then known as Native New Yorker) in 2014 and changed the name, recently introduced a new franchise concept.

Guidepost 13, named for the 13 members of the group, will feature oven-grilled wings, tenders, and flatbread pizzas along with self-serve beer taps.

The group already has targeted an empty building at 36th Street and Indian School in Arcadia as the first Guidepost 13 location, scheduled to open this fall.

It also has said it plans to open three to five more Guidepost 13s in the Valley before franchising the concept nationwide.

There’s been no official indication the Ocotillo location will become a Guidepost 13 but the timing is interesting.

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Post image for Blooming Beats Kitchen closes after less than 7 months in west Chandler

Blooming Beets Kitchen’s foray into the Arizona market has abruptly ended after less than seven months.

The Boulder, Colo.-based concept, which focused on Paleo-centric eating, made its Arizona debut in December, taking over the former Fired Up Grill on the southwest corner of 56th Street and Ray in west Chandler.

Blooming Beets’ gluten-free and grain-free menu used organic and local ingredients whenever possible. Meats were wild-caught or grass-fed. No processed sugar, seed oils, or GMO soy or corn were used.

There is no closing announcement on Blooming Beets’ Facebook page and no notices posted on the doors. But tables and signage have been removed, the doors have ben locked, and the phone has been disconnected.

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Now closed: Eklectic Pie in Mesa

BY Jess Harter Monday, June 19, 2017

Post image for Now closed: Eklectic Pie in Mesa

Eklectic Pie, one of several fast-casual pizza concepts that have popped up in the Valley in recent years, has closed its location on the northeast corner of Stapley and Baseline in Mesa.

Its other location on the northwest corner of Gilbert and Germann in Chandler remains open.

Eklectic Pie is one of the few locally born pizza concepts among a flood of competitors like My Pie (also local), Blaze, MOD, Pie Five, Pieology, and PizzaRev.

The Mesa Eckletic Pie opened in September 2015. It likely was hindered by the 2016 openings of Pie Five (since closed) and Mellow Mushroom in the same parking lot.

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Closed: Posh Improvisational Cuisine in Scottsdale

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Post image for Closed: Posh Improvisational Cuisine in Scottsdale

Posh Improvisational Cuisine, one of the Valley’s most acclaimed fine-dining restaurants, has closed in the Optima Camelview Condominium Building near Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Posh opened in 2009 and featured a ‘‘improvisational’’ menu – diners chose the number of courses they wanted, listed any specific food likes and dislikes, and received a uniquely created meal.

Owner-chef Josh Hebert will reopen the space later this summer as Chef’s Lounge, a commissary kitchen for food trucks and food artisans and a venue for pop-up restaurants.

Hebert will continue to operate Hot Noodles Cold Sake, a casual Posh spinoff that opened in north Scottsdale last October.

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Post image for Closed: Social Box Neighborhood Eatery in Chandler

Closed: Social Box Neighborhood Eatery in Chandler

BY Jess Harter Thursday, June 1, 2017

Social Box Neighborhood Eatery, a unique restaurant that paired comfort food with community stewardship, has closed in Chandler.

Social Box opened in November 2014 in the longtime Iguana Macks space on Alma School between Warner and Ray.

In its two-plus years, Social Box held more than 100 fundraisers for non-profits, schools, and, most commonly, animal rescues.

Owner Matt Landkamer, who also operates several restaurants in California, cited rising food prices and the recent increase in the state’s minimum wage as major factors in Social Box’s closure.

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Closed: Cyprus Grill in Chandler

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Post image for Closed: Cyprus Grill in Chandler

Cyprus Grill, a well-regarded Mediterranean restaurant on the southwest corner of Alma School and Queen Creek in Chandler, has closed its doors.

The restaurant, which opened in 2011, offered salads, pitas, falafel, and soulvaki (meat skewer) dinners.

In April 2015, owner Christodoulos ‘‘Christos’’ Komitis opened a sister restaurant, The Ivy, with virtually the same menu in a much larger space just two miles away.

According to a post on The Ivy’s Facebook page:

You can still get the same great food, service, plus cocktails at The Ivy. We will be diverting all of our attention here to introduce fresh ideas and amazing new things!

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Modern Grove closes Mesa location, 2 others still open

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ModernGroveMesa

Modern Grove Neighborhood Eatery & Market, a two-year-old casual restaurant with a front lawn patio, has closed its doors on the northwest corner of Gilbert and Brown in north Mesa.

The concept – which offers a menu of burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas – is the brainchild of developer Aaron Klusman, the founder of Chandler-based Zoyo Yogurt.

Modern Grove launched in Flagstaff in 2013 and eventually opened three Valley locations with plans for more. It’s now down to two locations: Scottsdale and northeast Phoenix.

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Essence Bakery Cafe in Tempe to close at end of May

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, April 18, 2017

EssenceMacarons041817

Sad news for East Valley macaron lovers: After 10 award-winning years, Essence Bakery Cafe in Tempe is closing at the end of May.

The restaurant and bakery, located on the southeast corner of Hardy and University, serves a European-inspired menu for breakfast and lunch.

The signature menu item, though, is chef-owner Eugenia Theodosopoulos’ macarons, made fresh daily and available in more than a dozen flavors.

Although Theodosopoulos and husband Gilles Combes decided not to renew the Tempe lease, their three-year-old Phoenix location on the southeast corner of 38th Street and Indian School remains open.

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Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream closes Tempe location

BY Jess Harter Monday, April 17, 2017

HappyJoesTacoPizza041717

Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream has closed the Tempe location it took over just last summer. The location, on the northeast corner of McClintock and Southern, previously was home to Nello’s Pizza.

Iowa-based Happy Joe’s entered the Arizona market by opening a Gilbert location in June 2015. It took over Nello’s in Tempe in June 2016 and briefly tried to operate the latter as a hybrid of the two concepts.

Happy Joe’s lays claim to inventing the taco pizza – dubbed the Taco Joe (pictured), its bestseller – in the early 1970s.

The Happy Joe’s in Gilbert remains open.

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RaniasChickenKebobs

Rania’s Kabob Grill, a three-year-old Afghani restaurant on the northwest corner of Higley and Baseline in Gilbert, closed its doors Saturday night.

As its name suggests, Rania’s specialized in kabobs (also spelled kebobs) – fire-grilled skewers of marinated beef, chicken (pictured), lamb, and shrimp.

The restaurant opened in February 2014.

According to a notice on the restaurant’s Facebook page, the owners plan to open a burgers-and-beer concept called on Warner, just west of Arizona, in Chandler.

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