Epicenter shops and restaurants get ready to open in Gilbert's Agritopia
Some of the Valley's biggest names in dining, fitness and retail are opening storefronts in east Gilbert.
What's happening: The development, dubbed Epicenter, is the first of its kind in the East Valley, with 320 luxury apartments over nearly 50,000 square feet of retail space.
Details: There will be about 20 restaurants, retailers and health and fitness businesses on the ground floor.
- Valley staples like Matt's Big Breakfast, Buck & Rider, Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup, Peixoto Coffee Roasters, Spinato's Pizzeria and UnderTow will be among the tenants.
- The trainers behind FunkFit and Cycle Ave. in downtown Gilbert will open a new concept called The Collective, which will include strength training, endurance classes and fitness recovery programs.
- A barre studio, luxury IV lounge, salon and barbershop are also planned.
State of play: Epicenter is the newest addition to Agritopia — a unique neighborhood of nearly 500 homes, a retirement community, farmland, dozens of restaurants and, now, it's very own downtown.
- Agritopia is the brainchild of Joe Johnston, whose family farmed the land before it evolved into what it is today.
- Johnston was the co-founder of Coffee Plantation and has since opened some of Gilbert's most beloved restaurants, including Joe’s Real BBQ and Liberty Market.
What he's saying: "As development came our way we started thinking, 'Well, what should we do?' Most farmers just sell and move out further. But we decided to stay part of the land."
- Johnston said he started planning for Epicenter almost 20 years ago.
What's next: One of the residential buildings is already open and nearly fully leased. The other will open early next year.
- Most of the restaurants and businesses will open by the end of the year, with about four openings planned per month starting in August.
2 spots we can't wait to try: The restaurateurs behind Pa’La and Thai Chili 2 Go are opening an "ultra-Mediterranean" fast-casual restaurant called Source. They promise salads, rice dishes, sandwiches, pizza and natural wines.
- The owners of The Sleepy Whale and The Theodore will open Beer Barn, a craft beer and wine bar in a rustic setting, in just a few weeks.
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