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Jan 29, 2010 08:37 AM

Restaurant Closings

Just thought I'd pass along what I read in the paper this morning. Efes in Tempe and Havana Cafe's Ahwatukee location are closing (or possibly already closed).

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  1. Add to that Mill's End in Tempe -- not a huge loss from a culinary point of view, but it's a great space at the north end of the Mill Avenue District and right across from the rail station. I hope some can bring back the indie coffeehouse experience to Mill Avenue there.

    1. The restaurant portion of the Backstreet Wine Bistro has also closed. The wine shop is still very MUCH open for business.

      We will greatly miss the wonderful "small plates," that the Bistro offered. So very glad that we were able to dine there on many occasions, and enjoyed each visit greatly. They will be missed.


      4 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Mr. Hunt - I suspect you've been traveling a lot lately - here is a pretty comprehensive list of restaurant openings / closings in case you've missed any activity here in PHX.

        1. re: azhotdish

          Wow! I had not seen that. There were some really good places on that "closed" list. I'd much rather have had some of them, than many of the ones, that have managed to stay open, or have opened recently.

          Thank you for that update.

          Yes, we've been "on the road," as my wife has tried to talk some sense into the Congress on healthcare. At least we've had some good meals in DC, but not that many.



        2. re: Bill Hunt

          I heard the wine shop was closing as well - a friend lives near. I can't confirm though as I've not been by and there's no mention on their site.

          1. re: tastyjon

            Yes. This was recent, compared to the bistro. It saddens me greatly, as we have enjoyed both on many occasions. I hoist one (Lambert Bridge Cab Franc) to Jock and to his shops. I count myself fortunate to have dined at the bistro, and to have bought from the wine shop.


        3. With the Closing of the two Sullivans Pier locations I am struggling finding good fish and chips on the east side. The original Knock Kneed Lobster is still great, but a bit of a jaunt for an east sider. Are there any hidden gems. I was recently up in Payson and the Buffalo Bar and Grill had a great Fish fry. With Lent on the way, i want to be prepaired. Enjoy!!

          18 Replies
          1. re: azdevilz

            How far east are you thinking of? KKL is east of Central Avenue, but maybe not as far east as you need.

            1. re: silverbear

              Was thinking East Side- Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa even scottsdale. I haven't been to Salt Cellar in a while.

              1. re: azdevilz

                Four Peaks in Tempe always does good fish and chips with cod. Sometimes they also have walleye as a special.

                I'm also fond of the fish and chips at Rula Bula on Mill Avenue. I particularly like the round "chips" as opposed to fries there.

                1. re: silverbear

                  Once again, I second silverbear on both accounts. Rula Bula is somewhat underrated as a nice change of place pub.

                  1. re: danieli10

                    Though infrequent diners, we've always had good fare and service at Rula Bula. Yes, I've had better fish-n-chips, but all has been good.


            2. re: azdevilz

              I noticed Culver's has some "North Woods Walleye" countdown going on their website. I enjoyed their Cod Dinner, many years ago, but, I haven't been to one since they've come to AZ.

              There are a lot of pubs that serve decent Fish 'n chips. Fibber Magee's is as far East as I've ventured. I like British Open. There are a couple of threads on this subject where a comprehensive list can be found.

              Fibber Magees
              1989 W Elliot Rd, Chandler, AZ 85224

              British Open English Pub & Grl
              1334 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

              1. re: azdevilz

                I'm new to town, so this may be common knowledge around here, but avoid Pete's Fish & Chips like the black death.

                1. re: Dmnkly

                  As a native, Petes is an icon. The quality of the fish has degraded over the years, but the "pete's Sauce" is an old favorite. I also noticed that thier shrimp varies from location to location. I can't exactly say i would recomend them for good fish and chips. But you should try thier Onion Rings...just not on Fridays..

                  1. re: azdevilz

                    Is there any continuity between locations? Because what I got were rectangular, supermarket freezer breaded patties:


                    And the shrimp were a joke. A third of a small shrimp surrounded by a massive breading cocoon. We're talking a 15:1 breading to shrimp ratio. No exaggeration.


                    I did kinda like their house sauce. Though I was amused that they called those fried shrimp and then had the gall to charge me for tartar sauce.

                    1. re: Dmnkly

                      From what I've heard, the 44th Street and Indian School location is the one to go to. And yes, Pete's is far from being the best fish and chips in town. As far as I can tell, the main draws are the house sauce and that it's cheap. Incidentally, them charging for tartar sauce is an upgrade from a few years ago when it was house sauce or nothing.

                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                        That's where I went.

                        Don't get me wrong, everything was hot and crisply fried. It was just industrial squarefish and symbolic shrimp.

                        And oddly enough, I think I'd have been far more okay with there being no tartar sauce available than tartar sauce with a fee. Pete's sauce only says, "Hey, that's our thing." Charging for tartar sauce when you're serving those shrimp says, "Hey, we're cheap."

                        Anyway, I apologize, the horse is long dead. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Seems not.

                      2. re: Dmnkly

                        Pete's has quite a fan base. I can't explain it.

                        1. re: johnseberg

                          I've tried my damndest to figure it out to no avail whatsoever. They're one of my worst guilty pleasures. Usually I turn up my nose, but once in a blue moon the siren song of that house sauce comes up and I gotta get my fix...

                          Say what you will about their fish, but their onion rings are killer.

                          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                            I love the fried oysters @ Pete's....and their onion rings! It's great for a quick meal....and they have a drive thru!

                    2. re: Dmnkly

                      We were given great recs., when we arrived over a decade ago. We tried three locations, and left each one totally underwhelmed. Still there are many, who sing the praises, so it must just be different palates, as we did not "get it" either.


                      1. re: Dmnkly

                        FWIW, while I don't want to oversell it and there may very well be better stuff in the area that I haven't found yet, if you're considering Pete's on 44th and Indian School, just go a couple of megablocks west to Ricky's Big Philly instead. They have an on and off fish & chips special that's surprisingly good. Fries are frozen, but the fish is cod, freshly battered and fried to order. Don't expect too much -- this is still a cheesesteak and burger place -- but it's entirely respectable and light years beyond Pete's.

                        1. re: Dmnkly

                          That is good info to know - I pass by there everyday, twice, and recently noticed that specials sign. I will give it a try soon, thanks!

                          1. re: azhotdish

                            Just as an update to this...I checked their twitter account today and it appears that they will be closing soon.

                    3. Barcelona closed? That is a monster space, not sure who will want to try and fill that place.

                      1. Ate at Cornish Pasty last night, but parked at Dooby's Grill Cafe and it was closed (doors locked, lights off) but no note. Has it gone down? I always wanted to try it.

                        1 Reply