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What new restaurant would you like to see?

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This isn't the typical CH post, but I thought it would be a good place to ask.. hope it doesn't get modded out or anything (sorry if I'm in the wrong!)

My boyfriend and I are opening a restaurant. Not a whim, restaurant experience, know what we're getting into, etc. We had a great concept and thing lined up in Boston, where we lived, but things were fishy with the landlord and fell through.

I grew up in the east valley from 13 til I went east for college, and for family reasons, since the Boston plan fell through, we're seriously considering coming to the Valley (he's an east-coaster, but wants warmer weather. And he loves me, I am so lucky. Anyway..)

I have no idea, though.. what kind of concept is wanted or needed in Phoenix! I did all my falling in love with food and farmers markets and dining out and cooking and obsessively reading CH posts out east, and wasn't home much to see what was happening in AZ.

Our concept was for a little cafe, full espresso, great drip, really good inventive soups and sandwiches, salads and lighter stuff, a beer and wine license if we could get it (hard in Bos!) and maybe some really good ice cream in the summer. Is this what you guys need or want? Does it bore you?

So, I guess, a better question would be, if your friend Katie could open your dream restaurant (as a patron).. where would it be, what would be the draw, what would it serve, and when would you go? Who else would go? Would you want to have your CH Chowdown there? (do they do those in PHX too?)

(Also, if you can get away with it, and make it food-related.. where can we live that's a great fun neighborly but busy area that the restaurant should be in.. so we can work near where we live?)

(Also also, if you know someone with a restaurant that does well that they want to sell to me, that would work too!)

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  1. Your concept sounds good. But it really depends on where your resto will be located in the Valley. Since everything and everyone is so spread out, location is going to be super important. After you determine where that is, work on a menu that will satisfy that demographic. People want simple and nothing too confusing.

    1. I'd simply encourage you to cook what you know. There's nothing wrong with trying to fill a need, but only if you can ace it. No matter what we want, it doesn't do us any good if you do a halfway job of it because it isn't something you're familiar with. But there's always room for something done spectacularly well, no matter what it is.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Dmnkly

        One thing I miss in Phoenix is a good high(ish) end sports bar/gastropub. I am looking for a place to watch "the game" comfortably have GREAT beer and GREAT food. There are places that have great beer (Papago), but poor food and TV's. Places with great food, but no TV's, so-so beer, and so on....

        If I win the lottery, I would open a great gastropub. Pay for a top brewer (or make sure there is interesting beer on tap), top chef and lots of plasma screens.....

        1. re: Random987

          i would agree with this

          blue 32 is about the best place that i can think of for a sports bar and the food is good for a sports bar but not good as in the sake of good food

          Also open up for Premiere Leauge games...you will have at least one customer at 5am for the teatime kickoff in England if Manchester United is playing :)

          1. re: Dapuma

            I used to have a place in Vegas where they brewed their own beer and had an actual chef doing the cooking. It was great when the chef would come out and say "I picked up some snails do you want some escargot" (not on the menu). Then, 10 minutes later, the brewer would come by with a beer and say this is something that I am working on for the beer list......while at the same time watching my favorite team on the 60" plasma......

            1. re: Random987

              that sounds pretty awesome

      2. Dmnkly makes a good point up above. That is, "cook what you know" ... and, if I may add, cook what you love.

        That said, if you were to just ask me in the abstract what I think the Valley needs in terms of a restaurant niche? I would say a serious seafood-centric place. Doesn't necessarily have to be high-end, some place like Noca but with a seafood focus.

        1. There is a really great, super cool bar and resto in downtown Chicago called Sable that is simply fabulous. In San Francisco, there is a spot called Chow, or Park Chow on the other side of the pan handle/GG park. These are two spots that would fit your description. The main difference being Sable has a killer, and I mean killer cocktail scene with mixologists out of control. I think we need both concepts here a little more. With that in mind I still love Four Peaks in both the Tempe and Scottsdale locations. More spots like that are good too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: danieli10

            trader vics is good, but the food there is overpriced and very average at best so it is only good for drinks

            mables on main is ok but those are more just old school cocktails versus craft

            i cant think of anything else around here

          2. great idea...i've been craving a real coffeeshop (like intelligentsia in chicago).

            1. Bring your idea to Mesa or Gilbert!!! This area is starving for something new and fresh. With the exception of very few restaurants, all that's out here are chains and a Filibertos on every corner.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sleepoveroverture

                Though I do not live there, I would add the West Valley too.

                Hunt

                1. re: sleepoveroverture

                  To sleepoveroverture: I'd kill to have just one Filiberto's in N. Scottsdale :)

                  To katrinkala:

                  I was talking with some friends who grew up elsewhere, one in New York City area, who were bemoaning the high price/mediocre food situation that is so prevalent in Scottsdale. They talked about the many small independent restaurants in NY that still turn out very well prepared food where people could have two or three courses for about $30 a person. Now I can't verify that myself, but I do know that there are many many restaurants in the PHX valley where the prices are too high for food that is reasonable, but not really that great. It seems to me that there are too many restaurants where trendiness and stylishness seem to be a higher priority than really good food at reasonable prices. And I know there are some places in the Valley doing the kind of food I'm talking about but they are hard to find, especially in Scottsdale. Another one would surely be welcome. Alot of people (like me) can't really afford to go out to eat very often when the tab is going to be well over $100 for two people. That's why I pretty much only go to fancy places for happy hours or unless its a special occassion. And I think there are a lot of people in my situation. Scottsdale is saturated with restaurants, but not that many are really a good value for people who are on a tight budget.