Crust Restaurant Group to open new Simply Italian in Mesa, add lounge in Scottsdale

Jan 16, 2024, 10:00 AM

PHOENIX — The Valley’s Crust Restaurant Group is planning to expand this year with new ventures in Mesa and Scottsdale.

A fourth Crust Simply Italian restaurant will be located at The Grid on Main Street, two blocks west of the Mesa Arts Center.

The 8,000-square-foot restaurant with a 2,000-square-foot patio will be the chain’s largest. The project will include an attached speakeasy-style cocktail lounge called The Nightingale, plus a gelato and donut shop called Bombolino. No opening date has been set.

Meanwhile, The Goose speakeasy is expected to open some time in early 2024 next to the original Crust Simply Italian location on Hayden Road north of Via de Ventura in Scottsdale’s McCormick Ranch neighborhood.

How large is the Valley’s Crust Restaurant Group?

The four new venues will increase Crust Restaurant Group’s footprint to 11 locations. The group also is looking to launch concepts outside the Italian food sphere in the West Valley.

“Since opening the first Crust restaurant in 2007, we’ve learned so much over the years, and as we’ve grown, I’ve had a goal to open 10 locations,” Michael Merendino, Crust Restaurant Group founder and owner, said in a press release. “Things have changed and moved quickly over the last few months, and we’re excited for what this first quarter will bring.”

Of the three Crust Simply Italian restaurants, the Scottsdale location is the only one that doesn’t yet have an adjoining speakeasy. Keeping with an avian theme, the Chandler cocktail lounge is called The Ostrich, and the Gilbert version is The Blue Heron.

In the fall of 2023, the company debuted a new concept called Crust Pizzeria at two former Artichoke Basille’s Pizza locations, on Baseline Road east of Rural Road in Tempe and on 16th Street north of Bethany Home Road in Phoenix.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A man was shot and killed in northwest Phoenix on Feb. 23, 2023. (Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Polic...

Police seeking suspect after man shot dead in northwest Phoenix alley

The Phoenix Police Department is looking for a suspect after a man was shot dead in a northwest Phoenix alley on Thursday evening.

24 minutes ago

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is eyeing a big expansion on-site. (VRX Studios/Justin Kriel)...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess eyes expansion of guest rooms, restaurants, event spaces and more

The iconic Fairmont Scottsdale Princess filed a request to the city of Scottsdale to update its master plan.

2 hours ago

Follow @KTAR923...

TSMC reaches construction milestone for Phoenix chip factory

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in Phoenix reached a construction milestone on its chip plant this week.

4 hours ago

Stock image of four men working off the ground on a grid of steel rods. Construction was one of Ari...

Kevin Stone

Arizona had 103 fatal work injuries in 2022, a sharp increase from previous year

There were 103 fatal work injuries in Arizona in 2022, according newly released federal statistics, 54% more than a year earlier.

5 hours ago

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) attends a House Armed Services Committee hearing on July 9, 2020, in Wash...

Ruben Gallego calls Arizona US Senate rival Kari Lake’s switch up on John McCain ‘insulting’

Democratic Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Ruben Gallego isn't buying Kari Lake's change of heart when it comes to John McCain.

5 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: Arizona and New York attorneys battle over extraditing murder suspect

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said New York City authorities can extradite a murder suspect, but after he’s prosecuted for violent crimes in metro Phoenix. This comes in response to recent remarks by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg that garnered national attention. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News Photos: Getty Images

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Crust Restaurant Group to open new Simply Italian in Mesa, add lounge in Scottsdale