Why the Valley’s Best Restaurants are Opening in Gilbert

Original Article via Phoenix Business Journal

The owners of Clever Koi always knew they wanted to open new locations, but they weren’t sure where — until they started speaking to East Valley residents and brokers.

“Once they came through and started talking with us, we did a little market research with clientele and demographic research,” said Jared Porter, co-owner of the Asian restaurant. “(Gilbert) just made a lot of sense.”

The central Phoenix restaurant is the latest to open a new location at Heritage Marketplace, the 63,000-square-foot center in downtown Gilbert that houses some of the Valley’s most popular eateries, such as Zinburger, Lolo’s Chicken & Waffles and Pomo Pizzeria.

“We like being in a market that already has pop culture restaurants from people like Sam Fox and Upward Projects,” said Porter. “We like to be near those guys. It’s friendly competition.”

The East Valley as a whole has been booming in growth, but Gilbert takes the cake. Thanks to Heritage Marketplace and other openings in the area, the town is becoming its own dining hub.

Bobby Q owner Bob Sikora, a longtime Valley resident and restaurant veteran who opened a second location in Mesa recently, had initially wanted to open in the area.

“Downtown Gilbert is on fire right now,” Sikora said. “But the space I wanted fell through.”

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