The average sale price of a single-family home in the West Valley is $265,000 and the average household income is about $65,000 per year. What does this have to do with targeting unique dining and shopping experiences? Two words: consumer power.

Last year’s comprehensive and prolific workforce development study by WESTMARC illuminated clear and concise clues as to the consumer power and behaviors of West Valley residents.

Colonel Mustard in Scottsdale spending high dollars

To the tune of the classic game of Clue, attempting to prove quality of life metrics in the West Valley was somewhat of a mystery. Of course, it had long been suspected that West Valley residents historically commuted to Scottsdale and other historically affluent areas of the Valley for fine dining due to a lack of local, unique, independent and grassroots establishments in the West Valley.

Thanks to the extensive workforce development research of the West Valley, a theory has now become fact. With vetted data solidifying that West Valley resident indeed have a steadily increasing household income, valuable information has been unearthed. The time and desire for high-end, unique dining experiences in the West Valley is now.

“The perception in the past has been that there is a lack of large buying power in the West Valley. “The analytics we have been able to prove thus far through our workforce process has helped us to demonstrate that the West Valley has a day and night-time population to support high-end restaurants,” says WESTMARC member Cheryl Covert, who is an employment and business development specialist for the City of Avondale.

With evidence of West Valley consumer power in hand, Covert has been instrumental in pitching a restaurant strategy to WESTMARC’s Quality of Life Committee.

“Part of the site selection process is thinking about where employees will go to be entertained and where they will go for dining options,” Covert says. “We are at a place where the quality of life demands more high-level needs, including unique dining experiences.”

Miss Scarlett dining at Lola in the West Valley

The intention of WESTMARC’s Quality of Life Committee will begin by targeting existing independent and unique restaurant operators like those who championed popular Valley hot spots like Postino and Joyride Tacos. Eventually, the committee intends to cast an even wider net by approaching out-of-market entities.

“The strategy is being created as we speak,” Covert explains, “but the initial approach is to offer a demo day in the Central Phoenix area and do an invitation-only event to pitch ideas of what we have available to restaurateurs and entrepreneurs city-by-city. There needs to be a full understanding of what’s available. One restaurant will ultimately find success by partnering with another.”

As the plot unfolds to attract new, dynamic dining opportunities to the West Valley, there is already evidence of growth in this facet of consumerism.

“We are seeing unique and higher-end options emerge, like Lola opening at Westgate,” says Jeff Teetsel, principal at Teetsel Properties. “West Valley residents don’t want to have to continuously drive to the East Valley for a unique meal and atmosphere. The business owners that recognize and capitalize on that built-in, pent-up demand will be rewarded.”

Professor Plumb likes individuality and a side of rum

While high-end is definitely a consideration in the widening of dining options in the West Valley, so are community-oriented, dynamic dining experiences.

“People are looking for more than delicious, high-quality food,” says Sintra Hoffman, WESTMARC’s president and CEO. “They’re seeking a gathering place and they don’t necessarily want chains. They want individualized dining experiences.”

And, individualized dining experiences they will find — some are already available now and others in the not too distant future, such as Tempo Urban Bistro in Buckeye, Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers in Peoria and Amuse Bouche in Surprise.

The mystery of fine and independent dining options in the West Valley: Solved.


Dig into West Valley dining options

Looking for a reason, location, or insight into where to dine in the West Valley? Cities like Avondale, Goodyear, Glendale and Buckeye are open (or soon to be open) to new restaurant experiences.



8-Bit Brewery

Main Event


Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

Lakeside Bar and Grill


The LoLa (Scratch kitchen concept at Westgate)

Salt (Westgate)

Fat Tuesday

Manna Korean

Mi Vegana Madre

Nomadic Ice Cream Rolls


Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers

North 40 (Happy Valley and Lake Pleasant Parkway)



The Vic Bar + Kitchen

Tempo Urban Bistro

(subhead)El Mirage

Rio El Mirage


State 48 Brewery

Saigon Kitchen

Amuse Bouche