Uptown Phoenix is killing it in the food scene and being in the neighborhood, I get giddy with all the restaurants that are opening up down the street from me. Locally owned and operated restaurant group, Pita Jungle, opened up on the corner of 7th St and Missouri Ave on Jan. 18th. This restaurant makes for a total of 18 locations in Arizona and it is the second new location to open in the past two months.
“In November, my business partners and I moved our original Pita Jungle location on Apache Blvd. in Tempe – where it all began in 1994 – to a larger location in arguably the most prominent spot on Mill Ave,” said Bassel Osmani, co-founder/co-owner of Pita Jungle. “Now, to start off 2016 opening another location – our biggest one yet –in the heart of Phoenix is very exciting for our team. We can’t wait to welcome new guests and provide a new spot for our loyal Pita Jungle fans to enjoy our healthy lifestyle menu of fresh food and beverages.”
Drawing inspiration from the famous 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby, and the 1927 film, Metropolis, the colors, materials and motifs used in the space are reminiscent of the mid-1920s. The art deco-themed restaurant is a bright, open space with silver, gold and copper accents present throughout, along with other unique touches such as custom crystal decanter lighting fixtures that reflect the light pouring in and remind guests of the “Roaring Twenties” time period. Two large custom-made mirrors overlaid with gold and silver framing adorn the walls on either side of the bar and are a direct reference to the artwork seen in the Metropolis movie poster – featuring the Empire State Building – and the Great Gatsby’s book cover.
Additionally, mixed media artist and longtime friend of Pita Jungle, Eric “Q” Quezada collaborated with the owners to fully bring their vision to life. Quezada created a large copper, silver and gold tree – a staple item of the Pita Jungle interiors – in the main dining area and hand painted the black and gold Egyptian-themed and Gustav Klimt-inspired entryway, as well as the 1920s-style bathers that grace the walls of the guest bathrooms. True to the brand’s passion for individuality, every element of the restaurant was thought out to be cohesive, yet different from all other locations in the system.
As is also tradition for the brand, the interior will feature rotating displays of artwork by local artists. Currently, work by artist Keri Chartrand, is on display. Pita Jungle gives 100 percent of the proceeds from each piece of artwork sold directly to the artist.
The new restaurant will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Between the main dining area, bar and outdoor patio, the location seats over 200. A garage door connects the main dining area and bar to the outside. At 4,830 interior square feet and employing 90 team members, it is the brand’s largest location in the system.
To learn more about Pita Jungle, its locations and The Art of Eating Healthy®, visit pitajungle.com/locations. For the latest updates, follow Pita Jungle on Facebook, Twitter (@pitajungle), and Instagram (@pitajungle).