By Molly Cerreta Smith
For Sheaborhood residents, Chompie’s is an institution. While restaurant locations now abound all over the Valley, the very first location — dubbed Chompie’s Bagel Factory and opened by Lou and Lovey Borenstein in 1979 — was located at 32nd Street and Shea. And now, decades later, Chompie’s is returning to the 32nd Street and Cactus area (moving into the space formerly occupied by Big Lots) and is set to open its doors early next year.
“We’re excited to be back on our home turf and to be a part of the North 32nd Street revitalization,” says Chompie’s COO Oren Molovinsky. “Chompie’s Land, as we’re affectionately calling it, will be a huge sensory overload,” says Molovinsky. “In a good way, of course.”
The location that currently exists at Paradise Valley Mall is relocating to the area and expanding to create a massive Chompie’s hub featuring 27,000 square feet of space that will feature a restaurant with two private dining rooms offering full service dining, a large bar and outdoor patio seating; a fast-casual style ordering option; a dedicated curbside pick-up window with “car hop” style service; full barista area with espresso bar; and an expansive New York-style market with pastries, bakery items, grab-and-go items; and more.
All the pastry, bakery, Kosher production and packaging for all Chompie’s fresh baked daily items will be produced there and guests will be able to watch the processes, such as cake decorating, happen before their eyes. This location will also serve as the hub for all catering services and orders for every location around the Valley.
Part of the reason for such a large dedicated baking area is due to the efforts of Neal Borenstein (one of the three Borenstein children including Mark and Wendy, that have helped shape the success of Chompie’s not only in the Valley but nationally as well). Inspired by his wife Shirli who has celiac disease, Neal, who runs Chompie’s bakery division, has been instrumental in developing more gluten-free friendly and keto-friendly baked goods to create more inclusion not only on the menu but throughout all of Chompie’s offerings. In fact, these items from cookies and breads to bagels and even cinnamon rolls have been so popular that Chompie’s online component has expanded to ship bakery items all over the country.
Molovinsky says guests can expect “a whole new Chompie’s” thanks to the design efforts of Scott King of Sixty First Place architects, who is giving the latest location a mid-century modern, 60s style vibe. However, the restaurant will still feature its signature murals that pay homage to New York through the stylistic creativity of local artist Randall Hedden; and diners can still get all their favorite menu items they’ve come to love and expect over the years.
Incorporating all of this into one large facility is no easy feat, but the newest Chompie’s location is already under construction — in its demo phase at time of print. The goal is to be open in early spring to welcome Spring Training fans, says Molovinsky.
As the 32nd Street neighborhood continues its revitalization efforts, seeing a locally owned and locally loved business such as Chompie’s return is yet another positive development for the area. For more about Chompie’s 40-plus year history, current locations and more, visit chompies.com.