TEMPE, AZ — During the day, Anoche Cantina will operate as a modern cantina with food, drinks, and a build-your-own margarita bar, while Six40rty will have sliders, lawn games, and a sports bar atmosphere.
At night, both will transform into high-energy nightclubs with DJs and bottle service.
Both concepts are part of Ascend Hospitality Group, a Black-, female-led hospitality group based in Bellevue, Washington, which is east of Seattle. The group owns and operates nearly a dozen restaurants in Washington, Oregon, and Utah.
Anoche Cantina and Six40rty will be the group's first concepts in the Arizona market.
Anoche Cantina is set to open in the old El Hefe space on Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe, near 6th Street, and Six40rty will open in the former Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row space on Sixth Street, across from Snakes & Lattes (El Hefe and Dierks closed the Tempe locations in 2020).
Exactly when both concepts expect to open is unclear, but "now hiring" banners were recently installed, and social media accounts were launched.
In an email to ABC15, Erin James, the marketing and media manager for Ascend Hospitality Group, said they were not ready to announce their opening time frames yet, but would when they were ready.
According to the website, both nightclubs are hiring all positions, from bands and DJs to head chefs, managers, promoters, servers, bartenders, and cooks.
FUTURE OF DOWNTOWN TEMPE
Despite some recognizable closures over the last few years — El Hefe, Whiskey Row, Ted's Refreshments, Rula Bula's Irish Pub, Gordon Biersch — the Downtown Tempe Authority, which promotes and advocates for businesses in downtown Tempe, said more businesses opened in Tempe in 2021 than closed — 43 openings vs. 13 closings, according to their market report.
Comparatively, in 2020, DTA reported 37 business closings and 13 openings, and in 2019, 22 businesses closed and 27 opened, according to the report, which was shared with ABC15.
Another project in the works is the renovation of the former Rula Bula space. Rula Bula closed in 2021 after being unable to reach an agreement on a new lease with Florida-based Wexford Developments, the building's landlord.
Julian Wright, who has opened a host of businesses downtown, including Pedal Haus, has plans to open three concepts inside the old Rula Bula space, according to Wexford.
One of those will be a second location of Sake Haus, a Japanese bar and eatery that Wright is also opening in downtown Phoenix (former Dressing Room PHX space).
Wright confirmed the project to ABC15 in a text message. The other two concepts have not yet been announced.