Rick Brady, owner of the new Blue Banana Frozen Yogurt, says blue bananas really do exist. They taste like vanilla ice cream and would be available at his new Oro Valley store if customs officials hadn't thwarted his efforts to import the rare fruit. The new self-serve shop at Oro Valley Marketplace (12125 N. Oracle Road) has a bounty of frozen yogurt and made-from-scratch gelato, and Brady says he'll add flavors on a regular basis. Brady says he looked at 200 frozen-yogurt stores across the country in an effort to develop a unique store that's an alternative to the "boring, vanilla" corporate chains. Hours are noon to 9 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday; and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; 820-4537.
Allegro: Il Gelato Naturale has opened at 446 N. Campbell Ave. We haven't had a chance to stop in yet, but we hear they serve the gelato out of some sort of rotating gizmo. We'll be back next week with the full scoop.
Mr. An has opened his new restaurant at Casino del Sol (5655 W. Valencia Road). An del Sol serves Chinese and Japanese food, and features a sushi bar. The press release announcing the opening says the restaurant features an "in-casino patio" and plenty of big-screen televisions. An also owns Mr. An's Teppan Steak and Seafood Sushi Bar at 6091 N. Oracle Road, and Great Wall China at 2445 S. Craycroft Road.
Pita Jungle should be open any day in the building that once housed 58 Degrees and Holding Company at 5340 E. Broadway Blvd. The downtown Monkey Burger location at 47 N. Sixth Ave. is set to open in 2011, as is the new Sushi Garden location at 3048 E. Broadway Blvd. Takamatsu at 5532 E. Speedway Blvd. is still undergoing renovations following a fire, but is expected to reopen next year. Sparkroot, a new coffee, spirits and sandwich joint from the owner of Xoom Juice, is expected to open early next year in the One North Fifth building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Congress Street. HUB Restaurant and Ice Creamery is expected to open early next year at 266 E. Congress St. Medusa Kabob House is opening soon in the old Casbah Tea House location at 628 N. Fourth Ave.