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Phoenix restaurant closures: 16 Valley eateries that closed in 2018

Posted at 10:55 AM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 12:23:30-04

It's sad when a restaurant closes.

Oftentimes, owners and chefs have put their heart and soul into the concept, and at long hours. But for a number of reasons, some do not make it.

In the first six months of 2018, more than a dozen restaurants around the Valley have shuttered. Some closed after being open for years, while others closed after a mere few months.

We're keeping track of the openings and closings. Scroll below to see the latest.

Related: 40+ restaurants we're eagerly waiting to open around the Valley
Related: 90+ restaurants have opened in Phoenix in 2018

Tavern + Bowl and Good Bad Ugly Brewing: 

Tavern + Bowl and its microbrewery, Good Bad Ugly Brewing, closed in June after allegedly defaulting on its lease, according to YAM Properties, Bob Parson's real estate company. The concept opened in April 2017.

El Palacio Mexican Restaurant and Cantina: 

Chef Anthony Serrano closed his restaurant, El Palacio Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, after eight years in business. The chef said despite being featured on national cooking shows and in local press, he could not compete with fast-casual restaurants, an increase in the minimum wage, and national chains.

Coup Des Tartes: 

French bistro Coup Des Tartes closed its doors at the beginning of the year. Owner Ron Pacioni said the increase in the minimum wage and debts incurred while relocating the restaurant in 2014 were factors in his decision to close.

Casa Anejo: The new Mexican concept from Evening Entertainment Group closed eight months after opening at The Colony, a development off 7th Street. The space was turned into Bevvy, the group's sports bar/nightlight concept.

Joe's Midnight Run: 

Joe's Midnight Run opened in 2016 near 7th Street and Bethany Home Road. Two years, and two owners later,  the restaurant closed. Owner Bob Mayo said, "although we were very busy on Friday and Saturdays, the rest of the week was a struggle." Glass Half Full, the owners behind Camp Social, bought the space and turned it into Hatter and Hare, an "Alice in Wonderland"-themed bar.

Little Cleo's: Fox Restaurant Concepts decided to close Little Cleo's because it needed more space at The Yard on 7th Street. They also decided not to fill the Barrio Urbano space with another tenant. Instead, they will be used as an additional bar and a space for private events. FRC said it possible the concept would reopen somewhere else.

Sassi: The Italian restaurant announced its closure in August 2017, nearly a year before it would actually shut down. The land was sold to a developer who planned to build an assisted living facility. On its website, the owners added: "Unfortunately, our location proved to be too far for many to frequent often enough to make it work. Especially in the offseason."

Iowa Cafe: Iowa Cafe announced its closure after 33 years in business in a Facebook post. "Thank you to all the people that have been a part of the history of the Iowa Cafe in Mesa AZ from 1985 to date. Today was a bitter sweet day as we have opened and closed our doors today for the last time [sic]."

Detroit Coney Grill (Mesa): Detroit Coney Grill closed its location inside Superstition Springs Mall in Mesa due to "lack of business." However, a Facebook post from the business said they were looking at the possibility of opening a location in the East Valley.

Logan’s Roadhouse: Logan's Roadhouse closed both of its restaurants in the Phoenix area, effectively leaving the market. A spokesperson said they have no future growth plans for Arizona.

Original Wineburger: After 53 years in business, Original Wineburger closed its doors in May. Until 2017, it was located at 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. Owner Kathleen Courter said they moved to 7th Avenue because the land the restaurant was on was sold.

Calico Jack's: The bar and restaurant at Westgate Entertainment District closed in May. It was purchased by another company who plans to open The Lola, a new scratch restaurant concept in its place.

Welcome Diner: After being unable to negotiate new lease terms with their landlord, the owners of Welcome Diner closed the Roosevelt Street location and moved to 10th and Pierce streets, where they had a second location under construction for months.

Bush's Chicken: The Texas-based southern fried chicken concept closed its location in Gilbert. Before that, it closed a restaurant in Scottsdale. That leaves two restaurants in the Valley -- one in Glendale and the other in north Phoenix.

Gringo Star Street Bar: The Mill Avenue hangout closed in January after being purchased by Texas-based Reign Group, according to restaurateur Julian Wright. Reign Group plans to open Rodeo Ranch, a western-themed bar in its place. Reign Group also bought the former Hooter's space and plans to open Varsity Ranch, a sports bar, on the second and third floors.


Macayo's: The Arizona-based Mexican restaurant chain closed both of its restaurants in Casa Grande and Tucson.