What’s New in Tempe, Arizona – February 2021

Media Contact:
Toni Smith, Director of Communications
[email protected]
@tempetourism on social media

Tempe, Arizona is an unexpected destination in the heart of metro Phoenix. It has a creative spirit, an innovative university, Arizona State, and a come as you are attitude. In 2021, Tempe will celebrate its sesquicentennial – 150 years since its pioneer founding in 1871. This is also the year that Tempe will welcome its new streetcar system and two new hotels in the downtown area.

Follow along on social media: @TempeTourism.


Westin Tempe Coming Soon to Downtown Tempe
Opening in summer 2021, The Westin Tempe will feature 290 spacious guest rooms and suites, all equipped with the brand’s iconic Heavenly® Bed. Located in the center of Downtown Tempe, the hotel is steps away from hundreds of restaurants, bars, and stores along the historic Mill Avenue. The Arizona State University Tempe Campus is just a half block from the hotel, so guests will be just minutes from Sun Devil Stadium, ASU Gammage and ASU Memorial Union.

The new hotel will offer opportunities to indulge in the brand’s Eat Well offerings at both signature all-day dining venues, Terra Tempe Kitchen & Spirits and Skysill Rooftop Lounge. Terra Tempe will stay true to its Southwestern roots utilizing local ingredients and flavors in signature dishes. For breathtaking views of Downtown Tempe, “A” Mountain and the surrounding valley, guests will be able to take the lift to the hotel’s iconic Skysill Rooftop Lounge. Featuring premium cocktails, a curated wine list and fresh locally inspired dishes, Skysill will be modern sophistication at its best. The hotel will also be home to Cup of Joe Market Café, perfect for a morning caffeine fix or a meal on the go. Visit the Westin Tempe website for more information.

Visionary New Boutique Hotel Brand Vīb®Breaks Ground in Tempe, Arizona
In December 2020, Best Western® Hotels & Resorts (BWHR) announced the groundbreaking of its urban, upscale boutique brand, Vīb, in Tempe, Arizona. Vīb currently boasts 16 properties in the global pipeline, and Vīb Tempe will be joining locations in Springfield, Missouri, Bangkok, Thailand and Antalya, Turkey.  

Located at 511 South Farmer Avenue, the 102-room Vīb Tempe will serve as BWHR’s corporate hotel, giving the global hospitality company a bigger footprint in its home state of Arizona. BWHR has been located in Arizona since 1966 with its Phoenix-based corporate office serving as the global headquarters for the organization.

Anticipated to open in September 2021, Vīb Tempe will offer additional amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center with interactive workouts, outdoor pool, and a multifunctional meeting space. Local, thoughtfully sourced fresh food and beverage options will make this hotel a social destination for guests and locals alike.

Vīb Tempe will offer city travelers and Tempe residents a stylish boutique experience. The upscale hotel will feature a modern lobby thoughtfully designed for collaborating with peers, using as a workspace for the day, or socializing after a local sporting event. The versatile public space can also flex to provide an extended lobby with flexible furnishings suitable for large events and functions. This innovative lobby design is intended to serve every guest need and provide both reasons to stay in and options for going out. The lobby bar will provide the perfect hangout spot to indulge in crafted cocktails, light dining and espresso beverages. The hotel also includes a signature rooftop lounge offering guests a breathtaking view of Downtown Tempe. Tempe Vīb will also include a unique art installation on the adjacent walking path to bridge the community to the hotel.

For more information on the Vīb brand, please visit BestWesternDevelopers.com and Vib.BestWestern.com.

Retail and Dining

Tempe Marketplace Welcomes New Tenants
In February, shopping and dining destination Tempe Marketplace welcomed new tenants, Sephora and Twin Peaks.

Sephora, specializing in personal care and beauty products, opened on February 5, 2021 in The District near Bath & Body Works and Forever 21.

Twin Peaks, the “ultimate sports lounge” just opened on February 8, 2021 at Tempe Marketplace. This 7,500 sq. ft. restaurant features made from scratch food, cold beer and 102 televisions.

Alter Ego, Named 2020 Best Hotel Restaurant by Phoenix New Times
Located on the ground floor of the Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown, Alter Ego is known for their impressive, ever-evolving lineup of adventurous, modern-American dishes inspired by Chef Ken Arneson’s more than 13 years of worldly culinary experience. Just months after its opening, Phoenix Phoenix New Times named Alter Ego Best Hotel Restaurant.  Chef Arneson and his team serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, along with weekend brunch and craft cocktails.

Also on property is Alibi, the East Valley’s only full-service rooftop pool and bar set atop the hotel’s 14th floor. Alibi boasts lounge seating, chic cabanas, a roaring fire pit and seats at the custom wrap-around bar that features retractable climate-controlled glass walls for comfortable year-round entertaining.

For more information on the Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown, please visit their website.

Tempe’s Newest Restaurants

Flower Child
Flower Child is on a simple, soul-satisfying mission to spread delicious vibes and healthy food in Tempe. Whether you’re craving a taste of their bowls, grains, greens and wraps or looking to refresh with their lemonade or organic wine and beer, it will take you to a happy place. Flower Child in Tempe is located next to Culinary Dropout. This location is to-go only, so guests can order ahead on the Flower Child app, on their website or they can stop by and order on their in-store digital kiosks

GuacStar Kitchen and Cantina
GuacStar Kitchen and Cantina is an unpretentious dining destination where the experience counts as much as the food. The eatery offers mouth-watering plant-based versions of Mexican food, margaritas and new takes on cocktails made popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Standout menu items include the Baja Pescado Street Tacos, made with beer battered royal trumpet mushrooms, and the Enchiladas Calabacitas, made with roasted squash and zucchini, house-made roja and verde sauce and cashew crema.

Sweet Republic
One of Arizona’s favorite local ice cream shops, Sweet Republic, recently opened their newest location in Tempe. This new destination for ice cream lovers is located at the Watermark development, on the north side of Tempe Town Lake. Their artisan ice cream is made in small batches, with natural ingredients such as milk from Arizona dairy farms, fresh fruit and handmade marshmallows. You’ll find standard flavors that you know and love, but you’ll be tempted by some of their unique combos such as Peaberry Espresso and Church Music, a collaboration with The Shop Beer Co.

CoreLife Eatery
Looking for healthy food that tastes delicious? CoreLife Eatery is Tempe’s newest fast-casual restaurant serving salads, rice bowls and tacos made with ingredients free of GMOs, artificial colors or additives. Patrons can choose from suggested options, such as Southwest Grilled Chicken with Purple Rice, Sriracha Ginger Tofu and Ancient Grains and Korean Pulled Pork Tacos.

Postino South Tempe
Postino South Tempe opened in September. Postino, a metro area favorite, is beloved for its menu of bruschetta boards, sharable snacks, salads, paninis, Arizona craft brews, and nearly 30 wines by the glass. Join them for daily happy hour, $5 ’til 5 p.m., when all wines by the glass and pitchers of beer are $5 from open-5 p.m. After 8 p.m. on Mon. and Tues. evenings, partake in their $25 Bottle & Board, a bottle of wine and a board of bruschetta for $25. Funky décor including mid-century modern furnishings, vintage Tempe concert posters, and a 300-foot art wall covered in skateboard ads makes this location a standout from the rest.

Monroe’s Hot Chicken
A 2019 “Best of Phoenix” restaurant came in hot in Tempe and opened its second location in November 2020. Monroe’s Hot Chicken originated in Downtown Phoenix. It was founded by Larry White, the man behind the famous LoLo’s Chicken and Waffles which can also be found throughout the valley. Monroe’s Hot Chicken specializes in Nashville-style hot chicken meals. They are famous for their Fried Chicken Sandwich, Popcorn Chicken Waffle Cone, and their Hot Chicken Belgian Waffle Sandwich which can be customized to the heat level you can handle, from no heat, aka “Southern,” to “What da Cluck!” — a heat so intense that you must sign a waiver before purchasing. Their chickens are all-natural and deep fried in peanut oil for that perfect crunch. They are located at the Watermark development, at the southwest corner of Scottsdale Rd. and the 202.


New Boats at Tempe Town Lake
Boat Rentals of America – Tempe Town Lake has added a few new boats to their fleet. Visitors to the lake can now rent Donut Boats, round electric boats that fit up to 10 people. There’s a circular table in the middle of the boat, perfect for sharing snacks and beverages. Donut Boats are easy to drive and they’re pet-friendly too. Visit their website for more information.

ASU Gammage Announces Broadway Dates
ASU Gammage, an auditorium designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, just announced the new dates for Broadway shows starting in August. The team at ASU Gammage was able to reschedule all but three shows in the 2021/2022 season. Tickets are not yet on sale to the public, but more information will be available in the coming months on www.asugammage.com.

Upcoming shows include:

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! – August 17-22, 2021
HAMILTON – September 8-October 3, 2021
MEAN GIRLS – October 19-24, 2021
MY FAIR LADY – December 7-12, 2021
THE BAND’S VISIT – February 8-13, 2022
TOOTSIE – March 15-20, 2022
HADESTOWN – April 19-24, 2022
COME FROM AWAY – June 14-19, 2022
Disney’s THE LION KING – Summer 2022


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