New Restaurants

Get free pizza today at MOD Pizza opening in Tempe

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, November 21, 2017

MODPizza051916Seattle-based MOD Pizza opens its 12th Valley location – and eighth in the East Valley – today at Tempe Marketplace.

The first 52 people in line will receive a free pizza or salad. Others will be entered into a drawing for free pizzas for a year and other prizes.

The doors open at noon, and 100% of pizza sales on opening day will be donated to Generosity::Feeds.

MOD, which stands for Made On Demand, bakes its 11-inch pizzas in an 800-degree display oven in about three minutes.

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Opening today: McAlister’s Deli in Tempe

BY Jess Harter Monday, November 13, 2017

McAlistersDeli111317McAlister’s Deli, an Atlanta-based chain with more than 400 locations nationwide, makes its East Valley debut at 10:30 a.m. today on the northeast corner of Rural and University in Tempe.

It takes over the space next to Cafe Rio Mexican Grill.

McAlister’s, often compared to Paradise Bakery, offers sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads, and desserts, but is perhaps best known for its signature sweet tea.

Despite its national footprint, the fast-casual chain has struggled to establish itself in Arizona.

McAlister’s opened its first Valley location in north Phoenix in 2012 but closed it earlier this year. A Peoria location opened in 2014 in the West Valley.

In 2015, the chain announced franchise agreements to open five more Valley locations by 2019, identifying Tempe, Chandler, and Gilbert as possible sites.

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Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers group unveils new concept

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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Square One Concepts, best known for their numerous Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers restaurants around the Valley, unveils their newest concept, Famous 48, today in Old Town Scottsdale.

Famous 48, billed as ‘‘a balance of casual, yet sophisticated dining wrapped in a tavern theme,’’ is located next to a CBCB on the west side of Scottsdale Road between Third and Fourth avenues.

The space previously housed another Square One concept, the short-lived Crab & Mermaid.

Famous 48 takes its name from a menu of classic American dishes from the Lower 48 states, ranging from an Arizona Chop Salad to a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich to BBQ Baby Back Ribs (pictured).

The 3,000-square-foot interior features leather booths and high-top tables with leather bar stools. Outside, the patio has fire pits and sofas.

Hours are 11 a.m.-close Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-close Saturday-Sunday.

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Divided Vine brings craft beer & hand pies to east Gilbert

BY Jess Harter Monday, October 30, 2017

Post image for Divided Vine brings craft beer & hand pies to east Gilbert

Divided Vine, a craft beer and wine bar that also serves hand pies, has opened on the northeast corner of Higley and Guadalupe in northeast Gilbert.

The bar is located next to Rancho de Tia Roa – in the same complex as Henhouse Cafe and Rise Up Bakery.

If the opening beer list is any indication, the 35 taps will feature an eclectic and diverse array of beers, ranging from Goldwater Hop Chowda IPA to Renegade Pancakes Maple Porter to Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.

Hand pies, also known as empanadas, come in five savory varieties: chicken pot pie, El Cubano, green chile pork, spicy Jamaiican beef, and spinach and feta. All are $8, which includes a side of quinoa salad or kettle chips.

There are three dessert hand pies – classic apple, lemon cream, and chocolate cream – for $4 apiece. House popcorn also comes in three choices – cheddar cheese, maple garlic, and Devil’s Spice – for $3.

Hours are 2 p.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday, 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, and noon-10 p.m. Sunday.

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Michael’s Pizza takes over Sanfratello’s space in Gilbert

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Post image for Michael’s Pizza takes over Sanfratello’s space in Gilbert

Michael’s Pizza – a family-run restaurant that also offers pastas, subs, wings, and salads – has opened in Gilbert. It takes over  the space formerly occupied by Sanfratello’s Pizza on the southeast corner of Lindsay and Warner.

Like its predecessor, it has limited indoor seating but several additional tables on the patio.

Michael’s hand-tossed pizzas start at $8.99 for a 10-inch small, $10.99 for a 14-inch medium, or $13.99 for an 18-inch large.

There are 11 specialty pizzas, ranging from the Italian Classic (meatballs, tomatoes, red onion, and garlic for $13.99-$21.99) to the Sweet & Spicy (pepperoni, pineapple, and jalapenos for $11.99-$19.99).

Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

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Saturday: GRAZ celebrates new space in Chandler

BY Jess Harter Friday, October 20, 2017

Post image for Saturday: GRAZ celebrates new space in Chandler

GRAZ Kitchen Fresh will celebrate the grand opening of its new home in the Palette Collective building behind Chandler Fashion Center from 6-9 p.m. Saturday.

The independent gourmet sandwich shop launched in 2014 on the southeast corner of Arizona Avenue and Pecos in Chandler. It moved in August.

Saturday’s party will include free food and gift card giveaways.

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Today: SunUp helps celebrate Casual Pint’s grand opening

BY Jess Harter Friday, October 20, 2017

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SunUp Brewing will be on hand today to celebrate the grand opening of The Casual Pint at 16th Street and Highland in central Phoenix.

Doors open at 4 p.m. The first 50 customers will receive free Casual Pint growlers; pint glasses, T-shirts, signs, and a San Diego vacation also will be given away.

SunUp’s White Russian, May The Schwartz Be With You and Hoppy Pumpkin will be on tap. Its Trooper IPA, Bearded Blonde, Tanline Brown Ale and White Russian will be available in cans.

It’s the Valley’s second location for The Casual Pint, a Tennessee-based concept that’s a cross between a craft beer bar and a retail store. The first opened in Chandler in 2016.

The two Valley locations are operated by different franchisees.

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Sauce Pizza & Wine opens today in Queen Creek with dog rescue fundraiser

BY Jess Harter Saturday, October 14, 2017

Post image for Sauce Pizza & Wine opens today in Queen Creek with dog rescue fundraiser

Sauce Pizza and Wine opens its 13th location (not including Sky Harbor) at 11 a.m. today in Queen Creek and will donate 100% of the day’s proceeds to 2nd Chance Dog Rescue, which is in dire need of funds.

In addition, the first 50 customers today will receive a $10 Sauce gift card with their purchase.

The new location – the fast-casual chain’s largest at 3,000 square feet – is next to the Harkins theaters at Ellsworth Loop and Rittenhouse.

2nd Chance Dog Rescue, a Queen Creek non-profit dedicated to saving abandoned and abused dogs, is trying to relocate after being forced out of their space.

“When we learned that 2nd Chance Dog Rescue was seeking support, there was no question we would do what we could to help them,’’ says Scott Kilpatrick, CEO of Sauce Pizza & Wine.

‘‘We hope our donation will play a role in getting them into a new space so they can continue to be a safe haven for dogs in need.”

Sauce is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

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Bitters gastropub to hold grand opening Friday at ASU Skysong Center

BY Jess Harter Thursday, October 12, 2017

Post image for Bitters gastropub to hold grand opening Friday at ASU Skysong Center

Bitters, a small gastropub that had its soft opening 10 days ago at SkySong in south Scottsdale, holds its official grand opening Friday.

SkySong, also known as the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, is located on the southeast corner of Scottsdale and McDowell.

The 2,700-square-foot craft cocktail bar and restaurant, the brainchild of Mesa native Erika Rode, is the first of four restaurants planned for the building.

Bitters’ focus is a menu of 17 specialty cocktails – along with local craft beers and boutique wines – complemented by seasonal small plates from chef Ehren Litzenberger.

(Pictured: Burrata, oven-roasted tomato, and charred bread with balamic drizzle.)

East Valley diners might remember Litzenberger from BLD, which he helped open in Chandler in 2011.

Bitters is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

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Denver-based Snooze’s 5th Valley location opens today in Ahwatukee

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Post image for Denver-based Snooze’s 5th Valley location opens today in Ahwatukee

After a couple community fundraising days, Denver-based Snooze, an A.M. Eatery officially opens its fifth Valley location to the public today in Ahwatukee.

It’s a newly constructed building in the Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center on Ray Road just west of the I-10.

The breakfast-and-lunch eatery features a coffee and cocktail bar, plus a shaded indoor-outdoor patio where guests can play games such as cornhole or Jenga.

There’s seating for 148 people inside and another 48 outside.

Menu offerings include flights of pancakes, breakfast pot pies, and a half-dozen variations of eggs Benedict, including chilaquiles Benedict.

Snooze is open 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

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