What did I miss last week? Lots of restaurant news

Jeez, I take one week of vacation and miss all kinds of news. Where to start?

• Mesa apparently doesn’t have much of an appetite for organic pizza and Earth-friendly decor. Pizza Fusion, billed as the country’s first “green” pizza chain, has closed its only Arizona location — near McKellips and Recker roads in Mesa — after just nine months. The phone number no longer works, and the chain’s website says, “We’re currently seeking a new site location.”

Pizza Fusion• Chef Aaron May has closed his Spanish restaurant Sol y Sombra in north Scottsdale’s seemingly jinxed DC Ranch. The four-year-old tapas eatery shut down just a few days after May’s eight-month-old Autostrada closed next door. May also has scrapped plans for a Basque restaurant called Leche and a Texas barbecue joint called Ice House (the latter in the former Pischke’s spot) in Old Town Scottsdale.

Rendezvous Point, which took over the former Citrus Cafe space near Alma School and Warner roads in Chandler, has closed after just two months. If you recall, the longtime Citrus Cafe had closed after its new owner was charged with stealing diners’ credit card numbers.

• Not all the local dining news was bad last week. Chef James Porter, who closed Tapino Kitchen & Wine Bar in Scottsdale in May, already has opened his new (much smaller) place: the French-inspired Petite Maison in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s dinner-only for now (see menu), but breakfast and lunch are coming.

Firehouse Subs, a Florida-based chain of firefighter-themed sandwich shops that opened its first Arizona location two years ago in Chandler, has opened a second at Mesa’s Dana Park (Baseline Road and Val Vista Drive).

Regions Bistro & Bar, which in late May closed its two locations in Scottsdale and Tempe after just four and three months, respectively, has reopened its Shea Boulevard restaurant under new ownership (see menu). The Mill Avenue restaurant is expected to reopen in October.

Dutch Bros. Coffee, an Oregon-based chain of drive-through coffee stands, celebrates the opening of its first Mesa location (McKellips and Gilbert roads) by giving away free drinks from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. The chain’s five other Valley stands will offer 16-ounce hot or iced drinks for $2 all day.

• Need more proof that brew pubs are hot right now? Not one but two new ones are coming to Tempe this fall. Electric Dave’s Brewpub (formerly located in Bisbee) is coming to the corner of College Avenue and Fifth Street on Sept. 1, according to a sign in its window. Sleepy Dog Saloon & Brewery will open near University and McClintock drives in October.

• Mesa’s Blue Adobe Grill will host a Santa Fe Brewing beer dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The four tapas-sized courses — Santa Fe scampi, green chile and spinach mushroom caps, chile-rubbed baby back ribs and blueberry cheesecake — will be paired with four beers. There are only a few $22 tickets remaining. Info: (480) 962-1000.

• Also, SanTan Brewing in downtown Chandler will host its monthly Tuesday Night Tasting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8. The $25 dinner, which is expected to sell out this week, features four courses — the highlight of which undoubtedly will be the chocolate-covered bacon lollipops (see menu) — paired with SanTan beers. Info: (480) 917-8700.

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7 Responses to What did I miss last week? Lots of restaurant news

  1. MesaChow says:

    I’m surprised to read that Pizza Fusion closed. I went by there a couple of Fridays ago for takeout and the place was packed. It was then that I noticed EJ’s was closed in the next building over — do you know if the meat market is still open?

  2. ron says:

    Wow I am suprised May closed so many places, Sol Y Sombra was a real hip place with good food. Autostrada was also good. I guess that leaves hime with Over Easy a great breakfast place. I guess its the sign of the times.

    DC Ranch is not jinxed, Grimaldis, Eddie V’s and Flemings do very well. We really need more good places to eat in North Scottsdale. DC Ranch will come back, there are too many people in that area for it to fail.

  3. Michael says:

    Pizza Fusion Mesa is currently seeking a new location. The entire complex is structurally unsound…

  4. mark jones says:

    Translated “looking for an excuse to get out of the lease” …….

  5. Michael says:

    Hi Mark, I just wanted to note that the entire complex has been vacated.

  6. Terry says:

    Hey Michelle,
    LOVED Your pizza. Ever think about Downtown Mesa?

  7. No, Mark, Pizza Fusion not trying to get out of the lease. I heard from the owner. There are structural problems with the entire building and it is dangerous to staff and patrons. Do your homework, big mouth.

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