July Restaurant Openings and Closings

Marilyn HawkesAugust 6, 2020
Share This

It’s hard to believe that 14 new restaurants opened in the middle of July in Phoenix amid a worldwide pandemic, but here we are. Kudos to all. The Valley also saw six restaurants close in July.


Carnitas Way
The folks at Los Sombreros have debuted a new concept featuring scratch-made California-style burritos, bowls and salads. Order online for take-out or delivery. Locations in Mesa, Scottsdale and Uptown Phoenix. carnitasway.com

Flavorz Fish & Chicken
Fried fish and chicken plates with burger and fish sandwich options featured here with freshly cut french fries and house-made pickles. 9706 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-334-1844

Papayaz Crepes & Juice Bar
New Fountain Hills restaurant serves crepes, juice, acai bowls, salads and toasts. (Think avocado toast.) 16845 E. Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills, 480-618-0164

JL Smokehouse
JL Smokehouse reopens with Southern barbecue from pork ribs and brisket to pulled pork and smoked sausage, along with macaroni and cheese, baked beans and collard greens. 1712 E. Broadway, Phoenix, 602-620-5132, jlsmokehouse.com

Café Margarita
Valley restaurateur Tommy Morano’s new restaurant features a mix of Mexican and Italian food. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pizza and chile relleno? Why not?  16816 N. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 602-283-5600, cafemargaritaaz.com

Da’Bayou Creole Kitchen
Da’Bayou restaurant serves up French Quarter favorites like fried green tomatoes and crawfish étouffée in the former Brass Tap location in downtown Gilbert. Dine in or take out. 313 N. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, 480-704-3405, dabayoucreolekitchen.com

Howler’s Restaurant & Sports Bar
This American-style sports bar promises live music, pool and darts along with pub grub, draft beer and wine. The Gilbert location is the first of four restaurants that will open in the Valley. Coming soon to Chandler, Scottsdale and Peoria. 1026 S. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, 480-687-2864, howlerssportsbar.com

Secret Handshake Coffee and Tea
Chef Adam Allison’s cozy coffeehouse offers coffee, espresso drinks and tea, plus a limited breakfast menu, sandwiches, wraps and “sexy” salads. 4415 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, 480-999-0309, secrethandshake.coffee

Tacos Lupe
Mesa taco shop with breakfast burritos, tostadas, enchiladas and more. 1352 E. Broadway Rd., Mesa, 480-964-0025, tacoslupe.com

The Grand Burrito
This new spot near Grand Avenue dishes up a small menu of burritos, quesadillas and chile relleno to take out or dine in. 906 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix, 602-607-5663

The G.O.A.T Sports Grill
The “Greatest of All Time” sports grill has plenty of flat screen TVs and a full complement of bar food. 6655 E. McDowell Rd., Mesa, 480-654-4628

The Golden Pineapple Craft Lounge
Tempe’s newest cocktail lounge features a sweet outdoor patio, craft cocktails, a sizable draft beer and wine list and a tidy menu that includes Baja fried fish, a brisket burger and heirloom grain bowl. 2700 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-590-5703, thegoldenpineappleaz.com

La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen
A second location of family-owned La Ristra opened in Chandler with the New Mexican favorites they’re known for. Open for dine-in, to go or pick up. 140 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler, 480-590-0002, laristraaz.com

Greenwood Brewing
Megan Greenwood’s long-anticipated woman-owned brewery has opened with misted beer garden seating and limited seating inside. 922 N. Fifth St., Phoenix, 602-875-8577, greenwoodbrews.com


McMahon’s Ice Cream
Small batch ice cream shop serving Chandler since 1996 closed in mid-July.

Mi Vegana Madre
Jose and Leticia Gamiz closed their Mexican vegan restaurant after two years in Olde Town Glendale, citing the economic impact of COVID-19. According to their Facebook page, “This is not goodbye.”

Carlos O’Brien’s
Carlos O’Brien’s closed the Phoenix location on Northern Avenue, but the Scottsdale and Happy Valley restaurants remain open.

Sweet Cakes Bakery
This downtown Mesa bakery closed on July 31 after 15 years, but the family-run business will be back at an unknown location in the future.

Famous Churros
Due to the pandemic, Famous Churros closed its brick and mortar store at the end of July, but will continue food truck service.

YC’s Mongolian Grill
The create-your-own stir fry restaurant closed the Chandler location in July, but Tempe (Kyrene & Elliot) and Gilbert locations remain open. Scottsdale will reopen soon.

For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.