Edible cookie dough. Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. An all-you-can-eat Brazilian meat buffet. Casual Italian. And a Japanese-focused cocktail lounge. These are some of the new restaurants, bars and concepts that the Valley's culinary connoisseurs are working to open later this year and in early 2019. Scroll through the gallery to keep up with the new stuff happening around town...
Chula Seafood is a San Diego-based fishing company and market. The family-owned business started in 2009 and expanded distribution to Arizona in 2015 when Chula Seafood opened in south Scottsdale. They have fresh by-the-pound fish (it is flown and driven to Arizona). The menu has sashimi platters, poke bowls, seafood salads, and sandwiches. They plan to open a second location at Uptown Plaza.
Expected to open: September 2018Chula Seafood/MMPR
Glass Half Full Hospitality has plans to open a second location of Camp Social, its camping-themed restaurant at Overstreet, an entertainment complex being built in downtown Chandler. It will be joined by Over Easy and Flix Brewhouse. In July, they opened Hatter and Hare, an "Alice in Wonderland"-themed bar in Phoenix.
Expected to open: Late 2018Camp Social
Better practice those vocals! Kobalt Bar, a karaoke bar and lounge at Park Central Mall, is moving to a larger space on the other side of the mall, which is undergoing renovations. The bar will have 2,500-square feet of space on the inside, 1,500-square feet of patio seating, a new projection screen and a mid-century modern design. It will also have an expanded bar menu with a focus on local spirits.
Expected to open: August 2018Kobalt Bar/Handout
Gadzooks has plans to open a third restaurant near Wilson Street and University Drive in Tempe, a short walk from Mill Avenue. They opened a second restaurant earlier this year in Arcadia. Gadzooks has make-your-own enchiladas and tacos that are cooked in a terra cotta cazuela casserole dish inside a wood stove oven.
Expected to open: Winter 2018Gadzooks
Toca Madera is an Los Angeles-based upscale Mexican restaurant. It has plans to open at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, part of its new luxury wing. It describes its menu as a "modern take on Mexican cuisine."
Expected to open: Spring 2019Toca Madera
Crust Restaurants closed its original restaurant off Indian Bend Road in order to open a new "flagship" restaurant at the Mercado Del Lago mall near North Hayden Road and Via de Ventura in Scottsdale.
Expected to open: August 2018Handout
Fellow Osteria will open at ASU SkySong. The Italian concept is one of the newest restaurants from Born and Raised Hospitality, the group behind "Clever Koi" and soon-to-be "Across The Pond," a Japanese-themed cocktail lounge. Its menu will have pizzas and pastas, sandwiches, salads, plus on-the-go breakfast items, and gourmet ice cream.
Expected to open: Early fall 2018Artist rendering/handout
Barrio Queen, a local Mexican restaurant chain, has plans to open a fourth restaurant at Tempe Marketplace and a fifth in Queen Creek. The Tempe restaurant will be built between Ruby Tuesday and Thirsty Lion Gastropub and Grill. The Queen Creek restaurant will be part of Queen Creek Marketplace near Ellsworth Loop and Rittenhouse Road.
Expected to open: February 2019 (Tempe) and summer 2019 (Queen Creek)Handout
Some more deep-dish pizza is coming to the Valley. Lou Malnati's has plans to open a restaurant at Chauncey Lane, a shopping and retail complex being built in Scottsdale. Its first location opened at Uptown Plaza in 2016, following by a second spot focused on carry-out, delivery, and catering only in 2017.
Expected to open: Late summer 2018
Hula's Modern Tiki is relocating from Central Avenue to 7th Street where it will take over the former Ticoz Latin Kitchen space. The tiki-themed restaurant was forced to move after the landlord decided to renovate the land. The restaurant will have indoor and outdoor dining, a private events space, and a second bar, called The Captain's Cabin, themed after a 1950s Tahitian ship cabin. The Central Phoenix restaurant will close in August.
Expected to open: September 2018.Rendering/Hula's Modern Tiki
Ocean 44 will be one of the newest restaurants near Scottsdale Fashion Center, which is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. It is from the same group behind Steak 44, an upscale steakhouse in Phoenix. Ocean 44's focus will, of course, be seafood. It is slated to open sometime this year.
Expected to open: Late 2018Ocean 44/Handout
Ghost Ranch is described as a modern Southwestern restaurant. It is the latest concept from Aaron Chamberlin, who opened two restaurants earlier this year: Tempe Public Marke Cafe and Taco Chelo. Ghost Ranch will be in the same complex as the Tempe Public Market Cafe near Rural and Warner roads in Tempe.
Expected to open: Late summer 2018Artist rendering/handout
GrubStak, a make-your-own fry concept in downtown Gilbert, has plans to open a second restaurant in south Chandler. Construction has already started near Gilbert and Ocotillo roads. Guy Fieri and his "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" crew visited the restaurant earlier this year.
Expected to open: Fall 2018GrubStak/Handout
Owner Sean Traynor wants Cotton and Copper to be a "really great neighborhood cocktail joint" focused on Arizona. It's taking over the former Sushi Kee space near Warner and Rural roads, the same complex where Aaron Chamberlin's Tempe Public Market Cafe opened. Traynor's bar is intimate with roughly 50 seats. He said the bar will have eight beer taps, all featuring Arizona-made beers, along with Arizona wines. He teamed up with Tamara Stanger, who helmed the kitchen at Helio Basin Brewing Co., to develop the menu. She said it will also focus on Arizona ingredients.
Expected to open: Fall 2018Screengrab from website
A Texas-based hospitality group -- Reign Group -- will open Varsity Tavern in the former Hooters restaurant on Mill Avenue and Rodeo Ranch in the former Gringo Star Street Bar location. Varsity Tavern is a high-energy sports bar. Rodeo Ranch will be a western-themed bar and club -- mechanical bull included.
Expected to open: Late summer/early fall 2018Handout
Ross Simon, the founder of Bitter & Twisted, and Aaron DeFeo, a well-known mixologist at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, have teamed up to open Little Rituals, a cocktail lounge on the fourth floor of the Residence Inn by Marriott in downtown Phoenix. There will be classically-inspired and seasonal cocktails and chef-driven bar bites.
Expected to open: 2018Google Street View
The owners behind Stand Up Live and Copper Blues will open CB Live, an 11,000-square-foot entertainment venue, restaurant and bar at Desert Ridge Marketplace. It will be built near the Barnes and Noble.
Expected to open: Fall 2018Handout
Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion will be the newest restaurant at Wrigley Mansion and helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef, Christopher Gross. Gross also manages the kitchen at Geordie's. He moved to Wrigley Mansion after closing his two restaurants, Christopher's and Crush, at Biltmore Fashion Park. At last check, construction on Christopher's at the Wrigley Mansion has not begun.
Expected to open: Spring 2019.Handout
Rott 'n Grapes is an intimate wine and beer bar in central Phoenix. They have plans to open a second location -- and a larger one -- at the Gold Spot Building near Third Avenue and Roosevelt Street. It's in the same building as Pita Jungle. It will also have an expanded menu and a speakeasy-inspired basement lounge. The menu will focus on bruschetta, pizza, paninis and salads.
Expected to open: Late summer 2018Rott 'n Grapes
Scott Homes's barbecue concept, Little Miss BBQ, is often considered to be one of the best barbeque places in the Valley. People wait in lines until the food runs out. Holmes is opening a second location in Sunnyslope, a Phoenix neighborhood, near 7th Avenue and Dunlap Avenue.
Expected to open: September 2018
Over Easy, the breakfast and lunch spot featured on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," has plans to open a sixth restaurant in the Valley. It will be part of Overstreet, the entertainment complex near in downtown Chandler
Expected to open: Fall 2018Over Easy/handout
Fox Restaurant Concepts began construction on its Culinary Dropout location in downtown Gilbert. The 25,000-square-foot restaurant will be the largest version of that concept, the company said in 2016 when it was first announced. The first floor will have indoor and outdoor dining, a bar, and two "yards" with outdoor games. The second floor will have a 150-person event space called "The Coop".
Expected to open: Early 2019Rendering/handout
Butters Pancakes & Cafe is relocating its Scottsdale restaurant at 8390 E Via de Ventura a half-mile up the road to Hayden Road and Via de Ventura. The popular breakfast spot has 14 kinds of pancakes and six kinds of French toast and waffles on their menu. You'll also find crepes, skillets, and omelets. There are three locations in the Valley.
Expected to open: Late summer 2018Butters Pancakes
Muse & Market is an upscale casual restaurant that will be part of The Marilyn, a rentable office complex near 44th Street and Thomas Road. It is the brainchild of Laura Pich. The kitchen will be helmed by Dino Luciano, who won season 8 of "MasterChef". Expected to open: Fall 2018Muse and Market
Wildflower, formerly Wildflower Bread Company, will open a restaurant along Phoenix's busy 7th Street. Like the newly-opened restaurant in Gilbert, it will also serve beer and wine. The menu features a variety of salads and sandwiches.
Expected to open: Fall 2018Google Street View
Square Once Concepts' Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers, a casual sports bar and restaurant known for its half-pound burgers, will open a restaurant at Park West, a shopping center in Peoria. It will have two patios, an indoor/outdoor bar and dozens of flat-screen HD televisions. There are nine other locations in Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Phoenix, and Scottsdale.
Expected to open: Early 2019Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers
Who doesn't love cookie dough? Scoopwell's Dough Bar has plans to open an edible cookie dough bar in Phoenix. The dessert shop is slated to open at Uptown Plaza, home of Shake Shack, Lou Malnati's, and Elly's Brunch and Cafe, in September. A few flavors they'll have include chocolate chip, oatmeal M&M, and sprinkled sugar.
Expected to open: September 2018
Flix Brewhouse, a Texas-based dine-in movie theater and brewery, will anchor Overstreet, an entertainment and retail shopping center being built near downtown Chandler. Over Easy and Camp Social will be at the same complex. Flix's menu has a lot of bar-type foods: fried pickles, chicken wings, hummus, mozzarella snacks, as well as salads, burgers, and pizzas. They do have some age restrictions on movies. Those 16-20 can see a movie solo until 7 p.m. After that, a parent or responsible adult will have to be with them.
Expected to open: Late 2018
Dough Licious Desserts started as a food truck serving up edible cookie dough creations. They have eight flavors, including a seasonal flavor. They could be served in cups, mixed with ice cream, or served in a pancake-like "Puffle" cone. They plan to open their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in Queen Creek.
Expected to open: October 2018
Chicago-based Giordano's Pizzeria will open a second restaurant in Paradise Valley. It will take over the former BoneFish restaurant at Tatum Blvd. and Bell Road. In 2016, Giordano's opened its first Arizona pizzeria in Peoria's entertainment district near 83rd Avenue and Bell Road.
Expected to open: Late summer 2018
The Larry is the latest concept from the founders of the Dressing Room PHX and Conceptually Social. It will be located in the Warehouse District, a couple blocks south of downtown Phoenix. It will have a globally-inspired menu with dishes like a chilaquiles burrito, Korean fried chicken sandwich, and soba noodle salad.
Expected to open: Late summer 2018AWE Collective
Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse, based in Oakland, California, confirmed its plans to open an all-you-can-eat buffet in Chandler. It will take over the former Nabers location at 54th Street and Ray Road. At Galeto, diners are showered with an unlimited parade of 12-14 different meats, sides and salads. Similar to Fogo de Chao, diners use a red and green token to alert staff when they're hungry for more or not.
Expected to open: November 2018Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse
Maple and Ash is an upscale steakhouse and seafood restaurant based in Chicago. They signed a lease to open a restaurant at the Scottsdale Waterfront, near Fashion Square Mall. The kitchen is led by two-star Michelin chef, Danny Grant.
Expected to open: Not yet announcedMaple & Ash
Five years after leaving the Phoenix market, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, now owned by Scottsdale-based Kahala Brands, is set to make a return. It has plans to open two restaurants -- in Phoenix (16th Street and Camelback) and Chandler (Rural and Ray roads) in 2018, with another three opening in 2019.
Expected to open: Summer 2018Baja Fresh
The Churchill is an urban market and food court made out of shipping containers in downtown Phoenix. It will also be home to six food and drink concepts: Breadwinner, new sandwich shop from EVO founders; Pobrecito, a new cocktail concept from the creators behind UnderTow; Pedal Haus Brewery taproom; Provecho, a Mexican restaurant; Freak Brothers Pizza, a food truck that will open its first storefront; and Foxy Fruit, a health-conscious concept for smoothies and acai bowls.
Expected to open: Fall 2018
Scramble, a fast-casual counter-style breakfast restaurant, has plans to open a fourth restaurant at The Collective, a restaurant and retail development in Tempe. The concept recently opened a third restaurant near 24th Street and Camelback in Phoenix. Expected to open: Fall 2018
The Lola is a new scratch kitchen concept from East Coast Saloons. The company purchased the former Calico Jack's space at Westgate Entertainment District to renovate it. The Lola is described as a from-scratch kitchen using local ingredients in an "industrial-like ambiance".
Expected to open: Fall 2018Westgate Entertainment District