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Mill Avenue's Canteen to Close in Fall and Reopen as El Hefe

Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013

Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013 12:08

Canteen Modern Tequila

Tiera Allen

Canteen Modern Tequila

This fall Canteen Modern Tequila Bar will be closing its doors as El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria, known for its Scottsdale location, takes its place. 
 
When Canteen opened in late 2010, it became known for its contemporary Mexican food, tequila selection, modern design and laid back atmosphere, while El Hefe is known for its nightlife entertainment, bold decorations, margaritas, tacos and drink specials. A favorite in Scottsdale, El Hefe will now try to woo the ASU crowd in Tempe.
 
El Hefe is not coming in and completely taking over. Some aspects of the two businesses will blur, especially considering Canteen’s owner, restaurateur Julian Wright, will still be involved during the changes. 
 
Wright, who also owns La Bocca Urban Pizzeria and Wine Bar, Handlebar, and most recently Robbie Fox's Public House on Mill Avenue, has partnered with Ryan Hibbert, Mike Troyan and Jon Wright of El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria to bring some of their Scottsdale flair to Tempe. Wright says they are “talented guys” and that it has been great working with them so far. 
 
The idea for the new joint venture came about in June when Canteen was planning expansion and a significant remodel. The new restaurant and bar will bring in El Hefe décor but “maintain a connection to the local community,” Wright says. 
 
This isn’t the first time Wright has partnered with Scottsdale talent. Earlier this year, Wright partnered with Stephen Sperry, Sonny Thurman and Hartley Rodie of American Junkie and Gringo Star Street Bar. 
 
As for Canteen, locals can still enjoy their tasty offerings for a few more weeks. Wright says it will close at some point this fall at an unspecified date and will undergo several months of renovations before the big reopening, which he speculates could be around New Year’s Eve. 
 
Wright says people can expect “a multi-dimensional entertainment venue with tasty food, great happy hour and energetic late night fun.” The menu will most likely be the same as El Hefe’s Scottsdale location, but Wright says they might keep a few popular Canteen items people have requested, such as their fish tacos. 
 
Fans of Canteen will be happy to know they can still expect outdoor events on holidays and other special occasions. Any skeptics can also reference all the success Wright, an ASU alum, has had along Mill Avenue. Between his experience in Tempe and Hibbert, Troyan and Wright’s work in Scottsdale, it will be interesting to see what they will bring to the Mill Avenue experience.  
 
“We're making a significant investment in the property to enhance the decor and flow. Myself and Fork & Dagger Restaurant & Bar Development will still be actively involved to help stay connected to our great customer base,” Wright says. 
 
Canteen Modern Tequila Bar, 640 S. Mill Avenue #110, Tempe, 480.773.7135

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