By Molly Cerreta Smith

It’s a good sign of a healthy economy when new businesses are opening left and right! And with the valley becoming more and more widely recognized as a culinary hot spot, new restaurants are filling the demand! Several restaurant concepts are bringing their second, third and fourth locations right in the North Phoenix and Scottsdale area.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub, with three other Arizona locations around the valley, is opening a 6,500 square-foot location in Desert Ridge Marketplace this December. With a large dining room (accommodating up to 200 guests), an outdoor bar with firepit and an inviting patio that can seat 140 diners, the restaurant is set to open on the southwest side of the north Phoenix outdoor shopping center’s “District” area.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Thirsty Lion is looking to hire more than 100 employees and will offer benefits including health insurance, 401(k) and a meal discount program. The company is looking to fill a variety of positions including bartenders, servers and waitresses as well as front- and back-of-house jobs. Thirsty Lion also offers its employees career advancement opportunities as well as career mentorship and education programs at all job levels. Employees also have access to a company job pool that includes locations outside the state in areas of Oregon, Colorado and Texas.

In addition to a vast menu, the fourth Thirsty Lion location will offer the north Phoenix area a wide array of craft beers on tap, including many local varieties from beloved homegrown breweries like Huss Brewing and Four Peaks Brewing Co. It will be the 10th restaurant to come to Desert Ridge Marketplace since the center’s $22 million renovation in 2017.

The Thirsty Lion has been named among the country’s Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Chains and is nationally ranked in the Top 12 Most Successful Emerging Restaurants. For more: www.thirstyliongastropub.com/arizona.

Another restaurant new to Desert Ridge Marketplace is Breakfast Kitchen Bar (BKB), which is currently hiring as well. This is the second location in the valley for the concept, which has a location in the Scottsdale Quarter shopping center. Serving up brunch favorites as well as a robust Keto friendly menu (which also includes many gluten-free selections as well), BKB Desert Ridge location is now hiring all positions including line cooks, bartenders, baristas, servers, hostesses, bussers and dishwashers. Only experienced applicants will be considered and candidates can email resumes to info@breakfastkitchenbar.com. An application for employment can also be found at www.breakfastkitchenbar.com.

BKB serves up a wide selection of breakfast and lunch selections for brunch including classics such as a Breakfast Burrito, Huevos Rancheros, Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast, Omelets, Breakfast Bowls, Benedicts, Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Philly Steak Wrap, All Natural Cheeseburger and more.

Hula Modern Tiki’s third valley location will “surf” onto High Street in North Phoenix this January. Before opening however, they are looking for staff! Now under construction, HULA’S is seeking up to 35 staff members for both front- and back-of-house positions. Housed inside a custom-designed 3,900 square foot ground floor space, and seating approximately 130 guests, plus another 60 outside on the wraparound outdoor dining deck featuring cozy fire-pits, HULA’S High Street location (5450 E. High St., Phoenix 85054) is the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a tropical beach ‘staycation’ anytime, day or night. Famed for its fun, modern twist on classic midcentury Tiki bars and restaurants, HULA’S launched in uptown Phoenix in 2009, and downtown Scottsdale in 2014.

“We’ve had our eye on this neighborhood for a while,” M. Dana Mule, Hula’s Modern Tiki owner said in a statement. “And a lot of people have asked us to bring HULA’S to north Phoenix. We’re excited to serve this fast-growing area, and introduce a new community to HULA’S amazing food and drinks, our always friendly staff, and a fun, unpretentious Tiki vibe.”

Upon opening, HULA’S Modern Tiki on High Street will serve up the same menu of signature tropical drinks and from-scratch Polynesian-style foods such as spicy rice bowls and fresh fish tacos that valley locals have come to love at the restaurant’s other locations.

HULA’S Modern Tiki is set to host a job fair later this winter as it looks to hire 35 full- and part-time employees for both front- and back-of-house positions. To learn more about available positions, candidates are invited to stop into one of the existing HULA’S locations — 5114 N. 7th Street in Phoenix and 7213 E. 1st Ave. in downtown Scottsdale, apply by sending your resume to hiring@hulasmoderntiki.com or visit www.hulasmoderntiki.com.