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LIST: 20+ bars, restaurants, developments to track in 2021

Ritz Carlton Paradise Valley Pool - artist rendering
Posted at 1:26 PM, Dec 31, 2020

PHOENIX — Goodbye 2020 -- and hello, 2021.

From restaurants to hotels to a new entertainment district, there are quite a few projects that are expected to either complete construction or begin construction in 2021. This is not a comprehensive list, but here are some of the projects we're watching in 2021.


Eegee's: We broke the story back in the fall; the Tucson, Arizona-based fast-food chain has plans to open at least five restaurants in Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, and Scottsdale. Eegee's said all were expected to open in 2021, potentially as early as the second quarter. Eegee's is known for its frozen fruit drinks, called eegee's, but also has grinders, salads, hot dogs, and pretzels.

Related: Eegee's to open five restaurants in the Valley

Chompie's: Chompie's will close its restaurant at Paradise Valley Mall in the spring of 2021 and relocate to 32nd Street and Shea where it is opening a full-service restaurant, bar, market, and coffee shop.

Related: First look: Chompie's to open restaurant and market in Phoenix in spring 2021

Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion: Chef Christopher Gross has two restaurants in the works: Christopher's at Wrigley Mansion and Christopher's inside Terminal 3 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Both remain under construction but are listed as opening soon. No opening dates have been announced. Amid the pandemic, Wrigley Mansion underwent an extensive renovation and reopened in November.

Matt's Big Breakfast: The Phoenix-based breakfast restaurant will open its sixth restaurant in Glendale near 75th Avenue and Rose Garden Lane. Owner Matt Pool said there were some delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but construction has started. The goal is to open in the spring. Matt's Big Breakfast is also opening a restaurant at Epicenter at Agritopia in Gilbert. That location is expected to open in late 2021.

810 Billiards & Bowling: The South Carolina-based multi-entertainment concept has plans to open two locations in Chandler and downtown Phoenix in 2021. Both will have bowling lanes, billiards, table tennis, foosball, darts, and shuffleboard, as well as a bar and restaurant. Both are expected to open in the spring, but specific dates have not been announced.

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill: The Texas-based southwestern restaurant announced that it would open a new location in February 2021 at the Mercado del Lago Plaza in Scottsdale. In 2017, Z'Tejas shuttered three of its restaurants in the Phoenix area amid a restructuring and rebranding. Z'Tejas has two restaurants in Phoenix and Chandler.

Clever Ramen: Previously branded as Broth & Bao, the team behind Clever Koi and Fellow Osteria will open a customized ramen restaurant at the SkySong complex in south Scottsdale. The concept will also offer a handful of bao buns. Clever Ramen is expected to open in "early 2021."

Don Woods' Say When: The 1960s and 1970s-themed penthouse cocktail lounge is expected to open in 2021 at ARRIVE Phoenix, a boutique hotel that opened earlier in 2020. The hotel is also home to Lylo, a midcentury poolside bar from Ross Simon, owner of Bitter & Twisted and Little Rituals, Pop Stand, which sells frozen ice pops, and Cartel Coffee Lab, a Phoenix-based coffee shop.

Morning Squeeze: The retro breakfast restaurant will open a third restaurant in downtown Phoenix. It will open at 1 N. 1st Street, near First and Washington streets. Morning Squeeze is slated to open in the spring. It has two other restaurants in Scottsdale and downtown Tempe.

Sake Haus, Kähvi Coffee Company, Pedal Haus Brewery: Julian Wright, founder of Fork & Dagger Hospitality, and owner behind Pedal Haus Brewery, will open a trio of concepts in 2021. Sake Haus will have Japanese whiskeys and cocktails, and offer an Izakaya-style menu. It will open along Roosevelt Row where The Dressing Room was. Kahvi Coffee takes over Be.Coffee's space and will have global coffees and teas. At night, the menu will have cocktails and champagne. Pedal Haus will open a brewpub on the northside of the MonOrchid building, marking its third location in the Valley. All are anticipated to open in the spring.

Portillo's: The Chicago-style fast-food chain will open its fourth Arizona restaurant at Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale. Construction is underway and the restaurant is expected to open sometime in 2021, according to Portillo's website. It was initially expected to open in 2020, but the pandemic caused delays. Portillo's is known for its Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago-style hot dogs, and cake shakes. It has locations in Avondale, Scottsdale, and Tempe.

BARCOA Agaveria: David Tyda, a local events producer who helped found Arizona Taco Festival, Phoenix Pizza Festival, and Phoenix Donut Festival, among others, is opening a tequila bar and tasting room near Roosevelt Row. He partnered with Ryan Oberholtzer, who owns Provecho. It will be located within the historic "Hardware Store" building near First Avenue and Roosevelt Street and will share the building with Xico, an organization that promotes Latinx and indigenous artists and artworks.

Kaleidoscope Juice: Known for its pressed juices, smoothies, and health bowls, Kaleidoscope Juice will open its sixth Valley location in Chandler. That location will be located in downtown Chandler. It is expected to open in early 2021.

Air Guitar: In December, crews began construction on Air Guitar, a redefined modern-day convenience store concept, in Gilbert. Joe Johnston, the owner of Joe's Farm Grill, Joe's Real BBQ, and Epicenter at Agritopia, Craig and Kris DeMarco, co-founders of Upward Projects, the group behind Joyride, Postino and Federal Pizza, and Eric and Elissa Seitz, of Bro Retail Group, are behind the project. The store will "pair heathy grab and go items with premium beer & wine and exceptional coffee & tea," a news release said. The project was initially slated to open in 2020, but has been delayed.

Aldi: The discount grocery chain opened grocery stores in Chandler, Goodyear, and Peoria in 2020, its first stores in the state. A fourth store was slated to open in Gilbert, near Pecos and Copper road, in 2020, but that has been pushed to 2021. An opening date has not yet been announced.

Sprouts Farmers Market: Sprouts has plans to open two grocery stores in 2021. One will be located at the Deer Valley Center in north Phoenix and the other will be in Maricopa, which is south of Phoenix. A spokesperson confirmed both stores would open in 2021 and said additional details would be announced at a later date.


The Revelry (phase 2): A handful of new concepts are expected to open during the spring of 2021 at The Revelry, an indoor-outdoor entertainment venue that opened earlier this year at Mesa Riverview. It is already home to Modern Round, a virtual shooting range, Box Bar Sports & Brews, PopCulture, a retro arcade, and an outdoor courtyard with a putting game, tiki bar, and large fire pit. Next year, it is expected to open Rev Brewing Co., K9 Cantina, a dog-friendly restaurant and dog park, and a food hall. Crust and The Ostrich are also expected to open locations there.

The Strand @ Gilbert: The 25-acre water park is expected to break ground and begin construction in Gilbert in 2021, said John McLaughlin, CEO of Strand Resorts. The water park will be located within Gilbert's Regional Park and will have cable-based skiing, wakeboarding, and kneeboarding, as well as an obstacle course, paddle boarding, and a beach. It isn't expected to be finished until 2022, or possibly later. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the project.

Crystal Lagoons, Island Resort: Crystal Lagoons is expected to break ground on its entertainment destination in Glendale in early 2021. Developers and the City of Glendale are also expected to announce some of the anchor tenants, including the hotel, that will be part of the project. Plans call for an 11-acre lagoon with a beach, as well as hotels, restaurants, amusement rides, a 4-D theater, among other attractions. The overall project isn't expected to be finished until at least 2022.

City North: Construction continues on City North, a multi-use residential and commercial development being built near 56th Street and the Loop 101, near High Street, in north Phoenix. Construction began in 2019 and the ground-level infrastructure, such as sewers and water, was finished in 2020. In 2021, construction will begin on an apartment building. The overall project will be constructed in phases, which could take between 5-10 years to complete, said Rick Carpinelli, senior vice president of acquisition & development at Crown Realty & Development. Plans call for two hotels, a restaurant from Sam Fox, more housing, and office buildings.

The Palmeraie: Construction continues on The Palmeraie, a 122-acre master-planned community in Paradise Valley and Scottsdale, and includes residential homes, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and The Shops at The Palmeraie, which will be home to stores and restaurants. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and one of the condominiums are expected to open in late 2021, said Brendan Mann, principal of The Solvere Group, who handles the development's sales and marketing. The hotel will have 215 casita-style rooms that overlook Camelback Mountain, a 400-foot-long pool, as well as a spa, restaurant, and lobby bar. "“The intent of the hotel is for people coming to stay at the hotel to have a continual experience of discovery," said Mann.

AC Hotel Phoenix Downtown: The AC Hotel by Marriott will be one of the newest hotels to open in Phoenix. The hotel is located at the Arizona Center and within walking distance of the Herberger Theater, the Phoenix Convention Center, and downtown Phoenix. The 13-story, 199-room European-style hotel is expected to open in February 2021, according to Marriott's website.

Legacy Sports Park: A ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony was held earlier in 2020 on Legacy Sports Park, a 320-acre sports mega-complex in Mesa. Plans include soccer fields, volleyball courts, baseball and softball fields, an outdoor stadium, an e-sports arena, and a fitness center. CEO Chad Miller told ABC15 that some of the initial facilities could open in late 2021, depending on the construction timeline, but that the entire complex is expected to be open in early 2022.

Verde at Cooley Station: Construction continues on Verde at Cooley Station, a development near Williams Field and Recker roads in Gilbert. The self-billed "modern main street" is expected to open in late 2021, according to its website. Crust, The Ostrich, Obon Sushi and Ramen, and West Valley BBQ are some of the tenants that have been announced.

Epicenter at Agritopia: Construction continues on Epicenter at Agritopia, a mixed-use development in Gilbert, near Joe's Farm Grill and Barnone, that includes apartments, restaurants, and shopping. Tenants that have been announced as part of the project include Matt's Big Breakfast, Gadzooks, and Bunky Boutique.