Coming Soon to the East Valley: The Beer Research Institute, Boondocks Grill, and Alton Brown


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It’s Friday, and we have five big bites of food and drinks news to catch you up on the week’s events. Let’s go.

AZ Women in Food Pre-Order Deadline Extended

International Women’s Day 2021 is Monday, and while it’s easy to order from a fabulous, female-owned restaurant in this town, some chefs are saving you from the burden of choice with the AZ Women in Food event. To order: Choose a four-course omnivore or vegetarian meal assembled by Nonna, The Cellar, 24 Carrots, The Breadfruit and Rum Bar, Sweet Republic, and more. The pre-order deadline was 9 p.m. on March 4, but that has been extended to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 6. The $85 meal serves two. Pickup is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 8, at The Market by Jennifer’s. There’s also a Zoom conversation, called Dine Together AZ, happening from 7 to 8 p.m. and moderated by Phoenix Cooks author Christina Barrueta. See the AZ Women in Food website for all the details.

10 Restaurants Partner with Arizona Citizens for the Arts

The 40th annual Arizona Governor’s Arts Awards, a ceremony dedicated to our state’s arts and culture community, will be a virtual presentation on Friday, March 26. Different this year: From 6 to 7:30 p.m., participants can pick up pre-set meals from participating restaurants (to eat during the ceremony back home). Those picking up will be greeted by models wearing locally designed clothes at Barrio Café, Board & Batten, Casa Mia Ristorante, Cosmic Vegans, and Hearth ’61. The showcase begins at 8 p.m. Just register to order meals and receive log-in instructions for the private viewing. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased at the Arizona Citizens for the Arts website.

We will be blessed to be in the presence of this Food Network food nerd this fall.EXPAND

We will be blessed to be in the presence of this Food Network food nerd this fall.

Mesa Arts Center

Alton Brown Is Coming to Mesa Arts Center

The Mesa Arts Center, which is anticipated to reopen in fall 2021, is kicking off its 2021-22 season with “Alton Brown Live: Beyond The Eats.” Our Food Network food nerd host, now known as the creator of the “the live culinary variety show,” will be here on Thursday, November 11, in the Ikeda Theater. Tickets go on sale today (Friday, March 5) at noon, and range from $43 to $178. See the Mesa Arts Center website or call 480-644-6500 for tickets and more details.

Coming Soon: Boondocks Patio & Grill

If you’ve driven near Rural and Broadway roads lately, you’ve noticed construction workers have been slowly chipping away at the old Prankster’s Gar & Brill since it closed in 2018. The standalone building (1024 East Broadway Road in Tempe) now has a new tenant. It will be the second location of Boondocks Patio & Grill. The indoor-outdoor bar and eatery will offer salads, sandwiches, burgers, and tacos, plus wine, beer, and “docktails.” An opening date has yet to be announced.

This summer, downtown Mesa will welcome The Beer Research Institute Taproom and Old School Arcade.EXPAND

This summer, downtown Mesa will welcome The Beer Research Institute Taproom and Old School Arcade.

Melissa Fossum

Downtown Mesa’s Getting One More Beer (and Game) Joint

The Beer Research Institute, or BRI, will open its second location later this summer in downtown Mesa. It’ll be called The Beer Research Institute Taproom and Old School Arcade. Located near Main and Robson streets, the 4,000-square-foot shop will have 15 taps, about 30 games (cabinets and pinball machines), and neighbors like Oro Brewing Company, Chupacabra Taproom, Desert Eagle Brewing, 12 West Brewing, and Cider Corps.

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