New businesses open near Tempe campus

There have been several grand openings of new hot spots for ASU students near the Tempe campus within the last two weeks.

From retail shops to eateries, each business has something fresh and creative to offer the downtown Tempe area.


The Grilled Ave Teriyaki House

The Grilled Ave Teriyaki House opened its doors on Aug. 15 at East Seventh Street and South Forest Avenue, and offers low prices for large portions of Korean-style teriyaki food.

Restaurant co-owner and interior design graduate student Violet Lee designed the layout, logos as well as much of the eatery’s interior décor, including the chalkboard on the wall where customers can come in and sign their names or write messages.

Lee got her start in the hospitality industry by working in her parents’ sushi restaurant in Gilbert, she said.

The Grilled Ave Teriyaki House also offers sushi rolls, which Lee was very enthusiastic about, as most teriyaki restaurants do not offer sushi as a menu item, she said.

Violet said so far business has been good, and the restaurant has more than 200 fans on Facebook.

The restaurant’s most popular item is the teriyaki chicken bowl priced at $4.99, she said.

The eatery’s homemade teriyaki sauce is a mixture of vegetables and fruits such as apples and pineapples, Violet said.


Paletas Betty

Paletas Betty on South Mill Avenue and East Fifth Street specializes in handmade Mexican ice and cream pops.

Betty Alatorre De Hong and Alvin Hong, spouses and alumni of the W.P. Carey School of Business, serve a traditional Mexican fruit Popsicle dessert made with fresh, in season fruits.

Paletas are very popular in Michoacán, Mexico, Alatorre De Hong’s hometown.

She said she missed the dessert when she moved to the U.S., and decided to open a paletas shop in downtown Chandler with her husband to emulate the dessert of her home.

The two opened the shop in Chandler last July.

“We like areas where there’s a good downtown feel,” Hong said, explaining why they chose Mill Avenue for their second store location. “We like being part of a neighborhood, and that’s why our first location is in downtown Chandler.”

Hong said he and his wife felt like Mill Avenue shared the same qualities as Chandler — probably on a larger scale.

The strawberries and cream flavor has been the most popular, “but the roasted pecan flavor is the one people come back for time and time again,” Hong said.

He said the pecan flavor ice pops take two days to make.

“Betty roasts all the nuts and breaks them by hand herself,” he said.

The couple said they feel very strongly about the concept of freshness.

“We really take to heart ‘made from scratch.’ Betty makes absolutely everything,” Hong said.



ICON on Mill and Brand X

On West Fifth Street and Mill Avenue sits a new retail shop known as ICON on Mill.

When first walking in, the most noticeable aspects are the shelves, which hang asymmetrically, an array of eccentric novelty items like mustache combs scattered about the store, along with plenty of hats and sunglasses in eye-catching colors.

Co-owner Shane, whose last name is symbolized by the letter “X”, is also co-owner of the adjacent screen printing shop, Brand X, said what makes ICON on Mill and Brand X different is the lack of branding on their products.

“We all drop our last names here, so we have the last names of ‘X’. It goes along with our branding,” Shane said. “Generally we don’t put our branding on clothing we are making for you.”

Shane “X” and his partner, Charles “X,” chose Mill Avenue as the location for both their shops because they wanted to add more of a hip factor to Mill Avenue, Shane said. While Brand X is more of a destination spot where people come from all over to have items printed on, ICON on Mill is meant for local customers.

Shane said the store consists predominantly of items such as sunglasses, hats and bags at affordable prices.

“You could buy a pair of sunglasses for every day of the week,” Shane said. “They’re $9.”


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