Several new restaurants are opening in the Fresno area. You may know their names, as all have existing locations here, but what about their new locations?
We’ve got all the details.
First, the people behind Tofas Mediterranean Grill have opened their fourth restaurant. It’s at Park Crossing, the new shopping center at Friant Road and Fresno Street. It’s in the same building as Figaro’s Mexican Southwestern Grill and Craft Beer Wine Bistro.
If you haven’t been to a Tofas, it’s a locally run, fast-casual restaurant serving Mediterranean influenced salads, flat-bread pizza and burgers. The Tofas deluxe burger, for example, is a half-pound burger made with Mediterranean spices like sumac and paprika. It has a fried egg on it and pesto made with Tofas’ juju sauce – the restaurant’s secret sauce that involves garlic, but they won’t tell us what else.
This Tofas has patio seating and serves beer and wine. It does not have a bar that serves cocktails like the Campus Pointe location near Fresno State. The same group owns the Tofas restaurant at Clovis Crossing at Herndon and Clovis avenues and Kebab Grill in Madera.
Black Bear Diner
Black Bear Diners are up and down the Valley and the state, but oddly, not in Fresno or Clovis. But they will be soon.
Black Bear is building a new restaurant next to the Hilton Garden Inn on Shaw Avenue near Helm Avenue, not far from Highway 168. Another hotel, an 114-room Marriott Towne Place Suites, will be built behind Black Bear.
You’ll have to wait a while, though. Grading has just started and the restaurant likely won’t be open for a while.
Another Black Bear Diner is coming to Fresno in 2018, according to the company’s website. But just where is a mystery. Neither the company’s headquarters nor a district manager returned calls.
The pizza place makes made-to-order 11-inch pizzas. Customers choose from two kinds of dough (gluten free and regular), three kinds of sauce and eight kinds of cheeses (including a vegan cheese option).
It’s now the third Blaze in the central San Joaquin Valley. It has locations in Visalia Mall and in Tulare. Blaze used to have a Fresno location at Shaw Avenue and First Street that opened in 2015 next to Wing Stop. It’s closed now.
In an email response to a question about why it closed, the company’s statement said it “offset” the Fresno location with the new Clovis restaurant.
“As we grow and assess real estate, our franchisee felt it was best to serve the community out of Clovis and other Central Valley locations including Visalia, Tulare, and future restaurants in the Valley,” the statement said.
Rita’s of Fresno
Rita’s of Fresno, the Italian ice and frozen custard place, opened last month at 1102 E. Champlain Drive, next to Five Restaurant at Perrin Avenue. Clovis has had a Rita’s since last summer, at 1195 Shaw Ave. across the street from Sierra Vista Mall.
Italian ice is a combination of water and fresh fruit or flavored syrups that are churned like ice cream to create an icy treat that’s smoother and thicker than shaved ice. Note: The mango and cotton candy are big sellers.
The new location is celebrating its grand opening Thursday with a chance to win free Italian ice for a year. Rita’s will also sell $1 Italian ices and $2 gelatis all day. A gelati is a layers of Italian ice and custard in a cup.
The new location also has hand-scooped frozen custard, similar to ice cream in that it’s spooned into bowls, but has the creaminess of custard.