It’s been a tough year for everyone, but especially so for metro Phoenix’s restaurant industry. Eateries, bars, breweries, and more have shuttered in the wake of the coronavirus, including award-winning restaurants, beloved neighborhood watering holes, and a few spots from our Top 100 restaurants list.
Here, we present a running list (which we will keep updated) of Valley-based food and drink spots that have closed since March 2020.
Americana Burgers & Beer
The bar, grill, and popular patio area has closed on Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe. It had been around since 2018.
Barrio Café Gran Reserva
Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s second restaurant, the art-filled, vegan-focused, Mexican-wine-serving mole palace Barrio Café Gran Reserva closed for good. “With a broken heart I am sorry to inform you that due to zero funding and coronavirus, we are closing,” Esparza announced via social media. “In order to save the Barrio Cafe, we have to shut down Gran Reserva,” she stated in another post. Barrio Café has remained open.
Be Coffee Food Stuffs
Be Coffee, which was located inside the monOrchid building, closed in March 2020. According to a March 24 Facebook post, the coffee shop was closing temporarily because of COVID-19, but it did not reopen. Now, a new coffee spot, Kahvi Coffee, is going into the space.
Bicycle Nomad Café
The coffee and bike-themed café owned by Erick Cedeño has closed in downtown Phoenix. The Velo Bike Shop, the cafe’s adjoining business, is relocating to Seventh Street in the Coronado District.
Blue Adobe Santa Fe Grille
The Gilbert location of Blue Adobe Santa Fe Grille closed in March in the initial COVID-19 shutdown. The owners, also behind the Scottsdale location of Blue Adobe, decided not to reopen. The New Mexican eatery had been in Gilbert since early 2018.
There’s no more geeky fun to be had at Bonus Round.
Game over for Bonus Round in central Phoenix: The geek hangout and arcade bar on Camelback Road has closed after four years of serving nerd-themed cocktails, cosplay events, and arcade action. Bonus Round was opened in May 2016 by locals James Goshow and Jacob Rendel.
The Brass Tap
Downtown Gilbert’s Brass Tap, open since 2018, announced its June 15 closure via social media. However, the sports bar-looking spot had reopened this summer as a Cajun-style restaurant called Da’ Bayou Creole Kitchen.
The small-plates restaurant Bri, located along Seventh Street in the Coronado District, announced its closure via social media on March 19. Chef Vince Mellody opened Bri — the phonetic spelling of its namesake, the braai, a South African-style grill at which the food was prepared — in spring 2018. The restaurant offered unforgettable cocktails and tapas in a hip, homestyle setting.
Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant
The Carlos O’Brien’s location at 12th Street and Northern Avenue, which had operated at that spot since 1985, has permanently closed. Additional locations remain on Happy Valley Road and in Scottsdale. Be sure to read our farewell piece to the 42-year-old local chain.
CaskWerks Distilling Co.
CaskWerks Distilling Co., in operation for more than five years and known as Tempe’s first craft distillery, has closed. A lease dispute was cited as the cause. However, the distillery may be opening in the future at a new location.
This build-your-own burger shop in north-central Phoenix closed on April 23. Set on the northwest corner of Seventh Street and Bell Road, Caveman Burgers was opened in 2016 by owner Jeff Bobby. It was known for Arizona-raised, grass-fed beef, locally baked bread, wild toppings like fried duck eggs, and local beer including offerings from SanTan Brewing Co. The space is now a new location of Aioli Gourmet Burgers.
Chzburgr is gone for good.
Chzburgr, a burger joint near Arizona State University’s west campus, has permanently closed. The west Valley restaurant was overseen by Kelly Fletcher, the former executive chef of House of Tricks in Tempe. It opened in summer 2019. COVID was cited as the culprit.
Coconut’s Fish Café
The Chandler location of the fast-casual Hawaiian eatery Coconut’s Fish Café — open since 2016 — had been temporarily closed since March. Now, it is permanently closed.
Commander Hamburger, which was located at The Churchill, shuttered in the spring, according to owner Andrew Fritz. Reduced event and traffic downtown as a result of the pandemic were to blame, Fritz said. The spot is now Stoop Kid.
Cuff has currently closed its location in Old Towne Glendale after five years. Cuff offered a menu of New American eats, often Cajun and Creole leaning, as well as craft cocktails in a modern setting (and a not-bad patio). However, the team here plans to open another location, still in downtown Glendale, in the coming months.
Hope you said goodbye to those shopping cart fries.
Delux Grill + Sushi
Delux closed after more than 15 years. “Since the Delux lease has expired, we regret to inform you the decision was made not to renew the restaurant lease. Therefore, Delux will not reopen and is closed permanently,” read a statement on the Delux website. In addition to the “A La Cart” fries, Delux was known for its Niman Ranch-sourced meat, demi-baguette buns, Arizona craft beer offerings, and some beloved dipping sauces.
Desert Cider House
Chandler’s Desert Cider House had been open since 2016, making it the oldest craft cidery in Arizona. Flavors include Desert Dragon Hard Cider and DCH Pear. “With a great deal of consideration and deliberation, and in light of the economic realities brought on by Covid 19, we have made the difficult decision to wind down our business, and close our doors,” the cidery announced via Facebook.
Dos Gringos Alma
The Chandler location of Dos Gringos, a Mexican food restaurant and patio bar open since 1996, has closed. However, the Tempe and Mesa locations of Dos Gringos remain open.
The Dressing Room
The Dressing Room announced via a Facebook post on March 24 that it would be closed until further notice because of COVID-19. However, it did not reopen. Another restaurant-bar, Sake Haus, will soon take over the space inside the monOrchid building.
El Zocalo Mexican Grille
Located in downtown Chandler, El Zocalo Mexican Grille made the announcement to close on May 5 via social media. Silver lining: Owners Obed and Pam de la Cruz also have hinted at finding a new home for El Zocalo, so news of a reopening could be on the horizon. The de la Cruz family operated the Mexican restaurant for more than 20 years, and they continue to own and oversee El Sol Mexican Cafe & Bakery, Mangos Mexican Cafe in downtown Mesa, and the PHX Burrito House in the Melrose District.
Farmboy Market, Meats, Sandwiches in Chandler has permanently closed.
Farmboy Market, Meats, Sandwiches
The Chandler market and superior sandwich shop has closed. It was run by owners Oren and Diana Molovinsky, who sourced their fruit, eggs, and other produce from their own 3.5-acre farm and sold it in a farmstand-style retail area. Farmboy had been open since 2018.
Four Peaks Brewing Grill & Tap
Four Peaks Brewing Co. has permanently closed its Four Peaks Grill & Tap location in Scottsdale after 15 years. Although the Scottsdale pub has been closed since March 30 because of the COVID-19 shutdown, it says it is closing permanently due to other factors.
The High Street location of Growler USA, which served more than 100 beers on tap and a menu of pub fare, has closed after four years.
The Harp Irish Pub
Say goodbye to Guinness Fondue. This Mesa pub with an Irish soul has closed after more than 11 years.
A flight of six brews from Helio Basin, which is now the Phoenix location of Tombstone Brewing Company.
Helio Basin Brewing Company
Helio Basin had occupied a brewery and restaurant space at 40th Street and Thomas Road for four years. The local brewing company closed thanks to COVID, but the well-known Tombstone Brewing Company immediately took over the brewery space.
The Ivy Mediterranean Lounge
This Chandler Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar closed thanks to COVID. It has been open since spring 2015.
Early January brought a new restaurant concept from True North Studio Lifestyle to a 1919-built bungalow, where executive chef Ryan Pitts (formerly of Café Monarch and Citizen Public House) put a French twist on globally inspired cuisine. The restaurant shuttered in March due to COVID-19, as did the Coup de Grace speakeasy located behind it.
La Bocca Urban Kitchen & Wine Bar
Another Mill Avenue casualty is La Bocca Urban Kitchen & Wine Bar. Both the original downtown location, around since 2008 and the High Street spot in northern Phoenix have closed.
La Calabria Ristorante
Open since 2008 at a previous location, La Calabria Ristorante in Gilbert has permanently closed. “Due to Covid19 we are forced to close the door,” the Italian eatery announced on Facebook. “This is a hard decision to make but unfortunately right now we have no other choice.”
La Piazza PHX and La Piazza Romana are now closed.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
La Piazza PHX / La Piazza Romana
Justin Piazza has closed two of his Italian and pizza joints — La Piazza PHX in downtown Phoenix (technically closed since March) and La Piazza Romana in Avondale. COVID has been cited as the cause of the closures. However, La Piazza Al Forno in Old Towne Glendale has now become the local pizzaiolo’s main focus.
The Arcadia-area pastry and coffee shop Lilac Bakery closed in late April. Opened in February 2017, the place was overseen by pastry chef and founder Lauren Paulsen and co-founder Peter Paulsen. “With a heavy heart we have come to the hard decision that due to the current economic climate we will not be re-opening Lilac Bakery and are now closed permanently,” the Lilac Bakery announced on its Facebook page.
The 2016-established Lochiel Brewing located in east Mesa closed indefinitely on May 23 — so, technically not within the shutdown window, despite the closure being related to COVID-19. Though the taproom has closed, owner and brewer Ian Cameron announced via the website that Lochiel Brewing will continue as a bottling line operation.
After more than 16 years that included frequent downs in business and ups in community support, Mark’s Café permanently closed in south Tempe on March 24. The family-owned cafe, located at Rural and Guadalupe roads, was overseen by Karen Vojtek and Executive Chef Mark Vojtek. “We hope that our presence in Tempe made a difference, and we will forever hold those memories near and dear to our hearts,” reads a statement on the Mark’s Café website.
Majerle’s Sports Grill
The Chandler Fashion Center location of Majerle’s Sports Grill, which had been in operation since 2007, has closed. The spot’s new occupant is the aforementioned Howler’s Restaurant & Sports Bar.
McMahon’s Ice Cream
This family-owned and -operated Chandler ice cream shop has closed. McMahon’s Ice Cream had been in operation for three years but went out with a bang (record sales on its second-to-last day, according to its Facebook page).
Mi Vegana Madre
The vegan Mexican restaurant in Old Towne Glendale announced on social media earlier this month that it would close July 31. The economic downturn caused by COVID-19 was blamed, but a glimmer of hope was also posted. “This is not goodbye,” the post read. “Please stay tuned for the next chapter in our journey.”
The dining room at the now-closed Nook Kitchen Downtown.
Nook Kitchen Downtown
Opened in April 2016 at the intersection of Monroe Street and Central Avenue in the 1932-built Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown, Nook Kitchen Downtown has now closed. However, Nook Kitchen Arcadia is still in operation.
This bloody mary and bacon flights joint in south Tempe has closed. It had been in operation since 2016.
Pane Bianco Van Buren
The second location of Chris Bianco’s beloved sandwich shop has closed. But the location itself — the former Roland’s Cafe Market Bar, at 1505 East Van Buren Street — will stay within the Bianco family of restaurants. The space will soon be home to Tratto, which is relocating from the Town and Country Shopping Center in east Phoenix. Get all the details here.
The second location of Paz Cantina, a Mexican restaurant and bar, quietly closed on the ground floor of an apartment complex at Roosevelt and Third streets and has been replaced by the aforementioned Golden Margarita.
Phoenix Public Market Cafe
Open since 2013, Phoenix Public Market Cafe has closed in downtown Phoenix. The cafe was owned by chef and restauranteur Aaron Chamberlin, who says the restaurant didn’t have much longer on its lease, and COVID had affected its main business draws — downtown ASU students and convention and business travelers. See more details here.
The Pizza Experience
This Gilbert pizza restaurant opened and closed seemingly within the month of October 2020. The Pizza Experience had inventive specialty pizzas, as well as subs, pasta dishes, salads, wings, and calamari.
Recalling Poppy’s dining room as Breakfast Bitch gets ready to open in this space.
Executive Chef Nate Cayer and Chef de Cuisine Steven Blackburn previously worked together at a farm-to-table restaurant in Plainfield, Illinois, before opening Poppy last November inside the Cambria Hotel. It closed due to COVID, but there’s currently another restaurant, Breakfast Bitch, open in the space.
RedThai Southeast Asian Kitchen
RedThai Southeast Asian Kitchen has closed. The north-central Phoenix restaurant offered modern Thai and Vietnamese fare.
Roosevelt Diner, or Arturo’s Diner on Roosevelt, was a petite Garfield District eatery with coffee, breakfast, and an ideal front patio. The small structure has gone by several names over the years, starting with the Hi-Way Diner, which is what it was called back in 1982, to Welcome Diner to Arturo’s Diner on Roosevelt.
The Valley’s first Nepalese restaurant opened and closed in 2020 thanks to COVID. Fans of Sherpa Kitchen most likely know the restaurant is a physical offspring of the popular dumpling food truck. It’s sticking around: The Everest Momo food truck will continue to make appearances at farmers’ markets and festivals (when those are back) throughout the Valley.
The second-story bar at McDowell Road and Seventh Avenue has sadly closed. The locally owned cocktail lounge had been in operation since 2008.
Sierra Bonita Grill
At the start of the COVID-19 shutdown, Sierra Bonita Grill ceased all operations, including takeout and delivery. Then, on May 9, the restaurant at Seventh Street and Glendale Avenue announced via Facebook the grill will remain closed indefinitely. However, Sierra Bonita Catering is still in operation, and will soon be launching an online ordering form.
Stock & Stable at The Colony is done.
Stock & Stable
Stock & Stable was an indoor and outdoor restaurant and happy hour destination located at The Colony, the restaurant cluster on Seventh Street north of Missouri Avenue.
Teakwoods Tavern and Grill
There’s one less place to get soft pretzel sticks in the Valley. Though one location in Gilbert remains, Teakwoods Tavern and Grill in Chandler closed in late April. The sports bar and eatery was shuttered by the plaza’s landlord after 25 years because of a failure to pay rent for the space.
YC’s Mongolian Grill
The Chandler location of YC’s Mongolian Grill, the Mongolian-inspired customizable stir-fry dish eatery, has closed. The location of YC’s Mongolian Grill at Talking Stick Shopping Center in Scottsdale has also closed.
See what Valley restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.
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