Anoche Cantina, an original new restaurant and nightlife concept created by Ascend Hospitality Group (AHG), announces its planned opening in August on Mill Ave. Coming soon to the previous El Hefe space, Anoche, meaning “last night” in Spanish, is a modern cantina with an innovative food and beverage program separated into “loco” and “classico” categories, along with Arizona’s most Instagrammable, interactive build-your-own margarita bar. Guests will be invited to savor Latin-inspired dishes and sip craft cocktails in a sexy atmosphere by day, and party the night away with a best-in-class bottle service program after the sun sets.  

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“We’ve had our eye on Tempe for a while and when the opportunity arose for us to take prime real estate on Mill Ave., we jumped at the chance,” said Elaina M. Morris, AHG CEO and president. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring, what we call, the ‘AHG Difference’ to the Valley and join such a thriving community.”  

AHG is a Black-and female-led, independent restaurant group based in Bellevue, Washington. A collection of concepts ranging from fine dining to fast-casual, AHG proudly employs more than 600 people in Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Arizona. Anoche is AHG’s first concept in Arizona, and the first to be co-created by the company’s director of marketing and brand design, Shelby Elmore.  

From the start, AHG looked to partner with a local expert operator to execute its vision for Anoche and found that in Thomas Lawson, formerly of Riot Hospitality Group. “It’s nice to be a part of Mill Ave.’s resurgence, this is a great area with rich history,” Lawson said. “Anoche will provide a unique experience to help elevate the ever-expanding community. Through carefully crafted eats and one-of-a-kind nightlife, we look to not just breathe new life into the area but give the area what it’s been craving.”

Anoche consists of 5,000-square-feet of indoor/outdoor dining with a shaded patio adorned with booths to allow patrons to enjoy the Arizona weather. Its fresh dining is coupled with an elevated nightlife experience, backed by top-of-the-line sound and lighting aimed at the patron looking to partake in the best party Mill has to offer. Next door to Anoche, the upscale sports bar and nightlife concept six40rty will open in September, featuring a large patio with TVs, lawn games, elevated bar snacks, and witty cocktails. After dark, the 8,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor space transforms into a distinctive, ambiance-heavy experience.

Both Anoche and six40rty are currently looking to hire team members for all front and back of house positions. Interested parties can apply in person or by emailing Lawson at