It’s rare, but occasionally the retail gods smile upon on one particular industry by peppering my desk with press releases, e-mails, newsletters or liquor license applications heralding openings on a zillion new banks, shops, malls or whatever.
This week, the gods have chosen restaurateurs as the beneficiaries of their good graces.
So, if today’s Retail Corridor seems to lean a little heavily toward steakhouses, sushi bars, Italian restaurants and the like, pray to the heavens for more gas stations and dollar stores next week.
TASTE OF ITALY
Giovanni’s Little Italy, an Italian restaurant featuring a range of pastas, paninis, pizzas and subs, opened in October on Gilbert Road between Baseline and Guadalupe roads in Gilbert.
OLD WORLD PIZZA
About two miles south of Giovanni’s, the owners of Old World Pizza are planning to open for business in February.
Located on Gilbert Road between Elliot and Warner roads, Old World Pizza will use only fresh ingredients in its pies, which will be made in-house.
Trumpeted as the best pizza east of New Jersey, Old World is fashioned after ... well, old-world pizza from Italy.
Jim Donnelly, husband of Gina — Old World’s owner and operator — said his pizzeria will go head to head with the beloved Pizzeria Bianco in downtown Phoenix, which has received national critical acclaim.
BRAVI TO OPEN
If you still haven’t had your fill of pasta and pizza, try out Bravi when it opens this month at The Promenade at Fulton Ranch in Chandler.
An Italian restaurant specializing in grilled panini sandwiches, pastas, salads and pizzas, Bravi will open sometime in December, although an exact date is unclear.
The restaurant will open at the northeast corner of Chandler Heights and Alma School roads.
Paradise Bakery & Cafe officials opened a restaurant at the SanTan Village shopping center near Williams Field Road and Loop 202 in Gilbert.
The chain is known for its fresh sandwiches, salads and baked goods.
Mesa is going to get its first Ra Sushi.
The restaurant will open in late December on Val Vista Drive, just north of Baseline Road.
MASSAGE BUSINESSES SPRING UP
Scottsdale folks apparently are much in need of stress relievers.
The city’s shopping centers are becoming a haven for upscale therapeutic massage businesses.
Among them, Hand and Stone Massage Spa has opened its first Arizona location at 15233 N. Northsight Blvd. Stores are scheduled to open mid-December in Chandler and mid-January in Ahwatukee Foothills.
A small but elegant shopping center is springing to life on the south side of Shea Boulevard, at about 93rd Street — if, that is, there actually was a 93rd Street there.
You’ll have to wait a while to actually shop there. A dozen or so store spaces are still empty and waiting for tenants. But you can get a haircut and something to fill an empty stomach.
Who’s Next? Barber Shop is open.
Manager Alex Pinhasov formerly worked at a V’s Barbershop. The new shop looks a lot like V’s, with black-and-white tiled floor, rich wood decor and individual TVs at each station.
Art-deco decor, American and Cuban fare and a sushi bar — what could be more appropriately named than new restaurant South Beach?
Co-owners Frank Tsikitas and Angela Rana were former New York restaurateurs who decided the 93rd and Shea area, which Tsikitas dubs “uptown Scottsdale,” needed some late evening dining options.
The partners expect to do a brisk lunch business, too, in the expansive indoor-outdoor restaurant.
A few doors down, Golden Spoon yogurt shop is attracting scores of transplanted Californians, said owner Kyle LeSueur.
LeSueur opened his first version of the popular West Coast yogurt chain in Mesa a couple of years ago.
It was such a hit, he bought the rights to develop the Scottsdale territory. The 93rd Street and Shea Boulevard location is his first in Scottsdale, but he plans to open five more during the next four years.
At the western end of the shopping center, Ling & Louie’s is gearing up for a Jan. 14 opening.
It’s the latest brand from Randy Schoch, who thought up Thaifoon. Ling & Louie’s is a fast-casual dining option, less elegant than Thaifoon, but maybe more fun. It will be a mix of Asian cuisine and American bar and grill food, a spokesman said.
Think Asian meatloaf.