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2019 Media Kit 3333 E Camelback Road, Suite 285 Phoenix, AZ 85018 P 602.307.9134 F 602.307.9139 azrestaurant.org
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It is the active involvement, innovation and creativity of everyone
arlier this month the Arizona
in our F&B industry that is helping to build Arizona as a food and
Restaurant Association held our 7th
beverage destination. Thanks to your efforts, the nation is taking
Annual Foodist Awards, honoring
notice. And that’s something we can all be proud of.
and celebrating our innovative chefs,
...we were reminded of how much our industry has evolved
Check out pages 12-17 for more on
imaginative mixologists, ambitious
the Foodist Awards, a full list of our
entrepreneurs and other visionaries whose
2019 winners as well as photos and
passion is matched only by their talent.
videos from the night!
and the amount of work that has been put into re-defining what it means to eat, drink and interact with food and beverages across Arizona... ffff
In preparing for and enjoying the evening together with our peers,
we were reminded of how much our industry has evolved and the
amount of work that has been put into re-defining what it means to
eat, drink and interact with food and beverages across Arizona. Since
Steve Chucri President & CEO, Arizona Restaurant Association
its earliest days, the Arizona Restaurant Association has been fueled
by bold thinking and emerging ideas. Today, we celebrate 80 years as
an association providing services for our industry, with an idea that
has grown into a network of leading visionaries, fueling the state’s
$12.7 billion vibrant culinary economy and representing restaurants
that employ over 225,000 jobs throughout the State.
Today, we celebrate 80 years as an association providing services for our industry, with an idea that has grown into a network of leading visionaries, fueling the state’s $12.7 billion vibrant culinary economy... fff
Heartland supports a wide array of food service customers- from fine dining, quick serve and casual dining, to hotels, country clubs, food courts, hospitals, universities and others in the hospitality industry.
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2019 foodist awards
The Arizona Restaurant Association Announces the 2019 Foodist Awards Recipients
Innovative Fast Bites Chula Seafood Arizona Craft Retail Food Product Cutino Hot Sauce
Top Arizona Caterer Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering Outstanding Local Restaurant Group Born & Raised Hospitality
On October 10, the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) hosted the annual Foodist Awards banquet at Young’s Market Company’s Seventh and Union. The event is designed to honor the winners of the Foodist Awards in 23 categories. As always, this event is a way to truly shine the spotlight on the culinary scene in Arizona as well as the individuals that are leading the charge to put Phoenix on the map through food and beverage innovation. The following Foodist Awards winners were honored that night in these categories:
Signature Dish Cotton & Copper
Uniquely Arizona Kai Restaurant Acclaimed Industry Instagrammer @azfoodie
Arizona’s Best Coffee House Press Coffee Roasters Favorite Arizona Winery Page Spring Cellars
Best of the Best Food Writer Lauren Saria, Arizona Republic
Top Arizona Brewery Mother Road Brewing Company
Good Neighbor The Dhaba
Cocktail Program Little Rituals
Top Mixologist | Bartender Aaron Defeo, Little Rituals
Wine Program FnB
Top Chef Gio Osso, Virtu
Best Beverage Program Bitter & Twisted Innovative Restaurant Concept Flower Child Fantastic Food Truck Maine Lobster Lady Emerging Restaurant of the Year Cotton & Copper
Food Pioneer Lisa Dahl, Dahl Restaurant Group Employee of the Year Benny Cisneros, The Scott Resort & Spa Manager of the Year TJ Martinez, Copper Brothel Brewery
For more than 80 years, the Arizona Restaurant
Association has been helping its members become leaders in their communities through building customer loyalty, escalating awareness of food safety and healthy living, bolstering a thriving industry and rewarding workforce, and increasing financial success. The first Foodist Awards nominations and ceremony were created in 2013 as an outlet to recognize the pursuit and achievement of excellence in the state’s food and beverage scene throughout a number of categories. For this year’s awards, nominations were taken over the summer, and finalists and winners were selected by a panel of industry experts organized by the Arizona Restaurant Association.
a look back and a look ahead
A Look Back and A Look Ahead at the Ever Evolving Culinary Scene in Arizona
By Molly Smith
in the state that are doing $13 billion in food sales annually to date, Arizona is experiencing a never seen before diversity that simply didn’t exist just a short time ago. “The industry has evolved so dramatically and so quickly and technology is now driving this industry more so than ever,” Chucri says, noting the recent development of ordering kiosks in restaurants, delivery companies like Door Dash and the not- so-distant possibility of drones delivering food in the future. “It’s happening faster than we can even keep up with but we have to evolve through and with technology to figure out how restaurants are going to be run to be successful. I believe that is where technology will play a vital role in how restaurants exist today as well as in the future.”
The Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) has been celebrating its 80th anniversary for the past eleven months. After all, a milestone anniversary like this doesn’t come along every day. It’s been a hard-earned 80 years as the ARA has continues to advocate for and support the restaurant industry through their mission of helping members become leaders in their communities through building customer loyalty, escalating awareness of food safety and healthy living, bolstering a thriving industry and rewarding workforce, and increasing financial success. Steve Chucri, president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, has been at the helm of this charge for the past 18 years…. And counting. A native Arizonan with a love for good food and dining out, Chucri jokes that at the time he was growing up, the Arizona culinary scene consisted of two types of food — Mexican food… and another type of Mexican food. He admits he has seen a lot of change in his time with the Arizona Restaurant Association. “To go from that to now, with the amazing culinary diversity that exists today, in such a short span of time is nothing short of amazing. Given the growth we have seen and where we are going, it’s so gratifying to have had a hand in that,” Chucri says. “It’s like the feeling of a proud parent seeing their child on graduation day.” He adds that with nearly 9,000 restaurants
Mowry & Cotton
value experience at more than 100 participating restaurants around the state with specially designed menus exclusively available during each Restaurant Week. Newer developments include a concierge-style program with partner facilities that present opportunities for companies to host events at participating restaurants around the valley versus standard hotel ballroom style events. This serves as another potential revenue generator for restaurants. “We’re always trying to present additional avenues to drive revenue to the restaurants, to educate them and to advocate for them on issues at all levels of government,” Chucri says of the Arizona Restaurant Association. “We’ve done a great job — but the job is never done. We’re continually looking at ways to make things better.” While Chucri has certainly seen a significant amount of changes in the industry in his 18 years with the ARA, one thing that remains the same, he says, is the people. “Restaurateurs are some of the hardest working, most resourceful, and most passionate people I know,” he says. “These people truly care about their businesses and their customers.” For that very reason, the Arizona Restaurant Association has spent the past 80 years building up this amazing culinary community — and will continue to do so for many years ahead.
In addition to advocating for how restaurants can best be successful given the industry changes and elements such as advances in technology, the Arizona Restaurant Association has shined the spotlight on the local culinary scene through popular events such as Arizona Restaurant Week, a 10-day event that takes place in the Spring and Fall, offering diners a
legendary arizona saloons
a toast to 7 legendary Arizona saloons about Telling You T h i s i s t h e p l a c e I was
SULTANA BAR It proclaims right on the weather- beaten, neon, martini-glass sign out front that the Sultana Bar in Williams is “World Famous.” And who are we to argue? Built in 1912, the Sultana’s origins were as the watering hole of choice for ranchers, loggers and railroad workers—along with rougher characters like opium- running desperadoes and Prohibition- era bootleggers, who hid their illicit stashes in the tunnels under the building. SPIRIT ROOM A mere mention of Jerome, Arizona, often conjures up images of the supernatural, based on the city’s history as a copper boomtown turned ghost town—and we mean in both senses of the word “ghost.” So the aptly named Spirit Room fits right in.
THE PALACE The Palace is the king of the lineup on Prescott’s Whiskey Row , Arizona’s most notorious string of bars. Operating since 1877, The Palace has racked up a strong claim to being the state’s oldest bar, as well as hosting its share of famous patrons and wild stories. The best imaginable testament to bar loyalty? Miners and ranchers risked their lives to rescue the heavy, hand- carved bar from a fire in 1900.
By Jake Poinier
MONTE VISTA COCKTAIL LOUNGE Zane Grey, author of the 1912 novel Riders of the Purple Sage, among many other Westerns, helped fund the construction of the Monte Vista in 1926. The first speakeasy in Flagstaff , Prohibition—until officials spoiled the party in 1931 and closed it down for two years. Keep your eyes peeled for the resident ghosts: a dancing couple and a bank robber who died tipping back his final cocktail. HAROLD’S CAVE CREEK CORRAL Opened as the Corral Bar in 1935 to quench the thirst of workers building the Bartlett Dam, this saloon became a lot wilder when colorful local personality Harold Gavagan bought, renamed and started promoting it in 1950. Tall tales abound, from performances by the resident lions the lounge also ran a profitable bootlegging operation during
Built in 1898 beneath the Connor Hotel, this saloon maintains plenty of Old West charm, but fear not: It’s primarily haunted by locals dancing to live music, road-tripping bikers and tourists checking out the historic decor. ST. ELMO BAR The last copper mines in Bisbee closed up shop nearly 50 years ago—and gambling and brothels are also distant memories. Unfazed, St. Elmo retains the rough-and- tumble mystique that it’s earned since 1902, notching it as the oldest continuously operating bar in Arizona. According to local lore, a minecart system under the bar kept patrons well-fueled during Prohibition, although St. Elmo’s was nominally a soda shop at the time.
and tigers to the owner firing a gun at last call—but there’s no disputing Harold’s as a unique piece of Cave Creek history. CRYSTAL PALACE SALOON Over the years, Tombstone has earned a reputation for cowboy kitsch. In “The Town Too Tough To Die,” however, no survivor is more notable or retains more Wild West authenticity than the Crystal Palace Saloon . It’s a joint where you might have slugged back a whiskey or played cards with Deputy U.S. Marshal Virgil Earp since his office was upstairs—when he wasn’t shooting it out with stagecoach robbers on the dusty street outside, that is. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JAKE POINIER Jake Poinier is a veteran freelance writer, editor, and author whose work has appeared in USA Today, Blue Water Sailing, and Golf Illustrated, among numerous other publications.
75 % The hospitality industry has a turnover rate of nearly
Take advantage of exclusive ARA member solutions from UnitedHealthcare to offer your employees health benefits worth sticking around for. Visit uhctogether.com/ara or contact Alliah Sheta at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Source: National Restaurant Association, May 9, 2019. Some restrictions and exclusions may apply.
21 Bygone Restaurants in Greater Phoenix: Then and Now
By LAUREN CUSIMANO, Phoenix New Times
For many, those moments live on in memory. But we could all use a refresh. Here’s a look at 21 favorite Valley restaurants (slide left or right to see the entire image) that have closed, and what those same spots look like now.
Beef Eaters / Southern Rail 300 West Camelback Road
Beef Eaters was a British-themed restaurant, and the dining room certainly looked the part with its chandeliers, white tablecloths, wood-paneled walls, and suit of armor. The menu listed steak, seafood, and the like. Founder Jay Newton built the place in 1961, referring to it as “everything I ever dreamt of in a great restaurant.” And, according to Shore, this used to be a haunt of Rose Mofford — Arizona’s first female governor.
Though essentially gone, reminders linger everywhere. The My Florist sign on McDowell Road, stories of purse stools at Mary Elaine’s, and what the Obamas ordered at the old stair-step Macayo’s. The Phoenix area has had some fascinating restaurants. Don & Charlie’s and Pink Pony fed famous athletes for decades. Designer Glen Guyett made Valley eateries legendary for iconic signs like the one outside Bill Johnson’s Big Apple. The first McDonald’s franchise put up the chain’s first golden arches in central Phoenix. “Food is such a connector for so many things,” says the “hip historian,” Marshall Shore, who helped us with this project. “If you have a celebration, you go to a restaurant, and you start developing histories with those restaurants.”
photos: Big Fish Creative Group / Food & Lifestyles
But that’s not what everyone remembers — it’s more the large sign reading “Let’s Eat” in glowing neon. “They were known for this humongous sign right on Van Buren. It went up at a time when signage was huge, when you had to have a bigger, bolder, brighter sign than your next-door neighbor to attract more attention,” Shore says. “I think he spent as much money on that sign as he did on the building.” Bill Johnson’s Big Apple grew into a small Phoenix chain, but the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2014, losing its locations in Mesa and north Phoenix. Finally, the original location closed in 2015. The site was sold to Gateway Community College, and is now a parking lot and busy thoroughfare for strolling college students and pedestrians. The Arizona Vintage Sign Coalition tried to preserve the sign when the restaurant was demolished, but sadly, that didn’t happen. Now it’s part of a large collection of memorabilia at Raceway Bar and Grill in Maricopa.
photos: Benjamin Leatherman / Charles Barth
The classic Phoenix restaurant closed in 2006, after 45 years of operation, and sat vacant for seven years — giant sign and all. The area was revamped in 2013 as The Newton, and chef Justin Beckett’s second concept, Southern Rail , now occupies the spot.
Bill Johnson’s Big Apple / Parking lot 3757 East Van Buren Street
Opened in 1956, Bill Johnson’s Big Apple was a themed restaurant on Van Buren Street. The family-run eatery was the type of place with sawdust on the floor and a menu of chuckwagon-style selections. Johnson was a cowboy actor, stuntman, and radio personality who had broadcast his show from the restaurant, with guests including Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.
House and The Gladly as the Original Chop (and you can find it at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport mini-location of Cowboy Ciao). In March 2019, the tiki-themed Drunk Munk opened in its place, serving seafood, sushi, and a whole page of tropical cocktails.
Don & Charlie’s / Unoccupied 7501 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale
We once called Don & Charlie’s a reliable Old Town chophouse with a bit of a sports obsession. But as of April 2019, the Chicago-style restaurant and rib shack closed its doors after being in operation since 1981. The classic sports tavern thrived in what is now Scottsdale’s entertainment district for 38 years, slowly compiling a collection of sports memorabilia that became its signature.
Cowboy Ciao was a baby of Old Town Scottsdale, sitting on the northeast corner of Stetson Drive and Sixth Avenue. It opened in 1997, and inside, the place was Scottsdale to a T — white tablecloths but rustic décor, twinkle lights and saloon- style darkness, well-mannered diners mixed with rowdy spring training fans. Owner Peter Kasperski closed both his Old Town Scottsdale sites, Cowboy and Kazimierz World Wine Bar, in October 2018 (though Kazimierz Wine & Whiskey Bar opened in 2019). A major testament to Cowboy Ciao’s influence is the Chef Bernie Kantak-created Stetson Chopped Salad — which eventually inspired merchandise and a Facebook fan page. The dish continues to thrive on the adopting menus at Citizen Public
photos: Jacob Tyler Dunn / Charles Barth
family-operated eatery was a popular and prosperous Mexican restaurant according to the book Our Town: The Story of Mesa, Arizona 1878-1991. And many a former guest would agree. The popular Florentine Room was all red booths, classic memorabilia, and neon beer signs. Think cold beer, chips and salsa, enchilada platters. The restaurant was orignally El Charro Cafe at 416 West Main Street in the 1940s, then it relocated to open as El Charro Restaurant & Lounge in 1958 at the Country Club Drive spot. Owner Fred Munoz started talking retirement in 2009, and the place closed for its annual summer vacation about three years ago. It never reopened. The spot is now just an unoccupied El Charro, with a sign at the entrance reading, “CLOSED FOR VACATION OPEN AFTER LABOR DAY.”
photos: Timur Guseynov / Charles Barth
There were framed jerseys, signed baseballs, trading cards, and the classic restaurant owner move: photos of Don Carson pictured with various sports figures. The place also hummed with servers bringing out orders of Chicago-style fare, beer, and old-school cocktails. Carson wanted to retire, and closed the place this spring. A new hotel is slated for the lot, but it now sits unoccupied.
El Charro Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge / Unoccupied 105 North Country Club Drive, Mesa
Not to be confused with the El Charro Cafe in Tucson or El Chorro Restaurant in Paradise Valley, El Charro Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge was a classic in downtown Mesa. The
Macayo’s on Central / Alta Central 4001 North Central Avenue
Macayo’s has a storied past, so let’s briefly recap. Woody and Victoria Johnson’s first establishment was the six-table Woody’s El Nido restaurant on McDowell Road in 1946. Then Woody’s Macayo opened in 1952, and in the late 1970s, the building got its Mayan-looking stair-step addition. There it stayed, north of Central Avenue and Indian School Road, for years — even serving President Obama and family in 2009. Then the flagship Macayo’s moved across Indianola Avenue and reopened with a Midcentury Modern vibe in 2017 in a repurposed auto shop.
photos: Lily Altavena / Charles Barth
La Piñata / Mariscos El Tiburon Seafood Restaurant 3330 North 19th Avenue
If you wanted Sonoran-style Mexican food in the 1970s, you didn’t have to look further than La Piñata. It claimed to be the home of the chimichanga, along with margaritas, chips and salsa, and the other usual fare. La Piñata, like many of the restaurants on this list, was spotted by its absolutely outrageous sign. The hood of the family car shone bright with the neon glow of that big iconic arrow as guests entered the parking lot for dinner. The restaurant seemed unchanged since the 1970s till it moved. La Piñata has since relocated to Seventh Avenue and Camelback Road, in the former Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream place. But not to worry, the guiding arrow still remains in front of the new location.
The spot where the restaurant was located is now a flat-faced apartment complex called Alta Central.
photos: Robrt Pela / Charles Barth
The spot on 19th Avenue is now the under-the-sea-themed Mariscos El Tiburon Seafood Restaurant.
McDonald’s / Yoshi’s 4050 North Central Avenue
Watch 2016’s film The Founder and you might get a shock: Phoenix was home to the first McDonald’s franchise. It was located north of Central Avenue and Indian School Road, and was the first of the Mickey D’s to feature the golden arches when it opened in 1953. Designed by California architect Stanley Clark Meston, the arches were not part of the sign as we know now, but part of the building itself. The first to purchase a franchise license was Neil Fox of General Petroleum Corporation, along with some colleagues. They paid $1,000. They named it McDonald’s, a surprise to the brothers back in California, but it did lead to most succeeding restaurants to also be named as such. The structure was demolished in the 1960s, and Yoshi’s now fills the spot.
photos: The Phoenician / JG Steakhouse
Mary Elaine’s / J&G Steakhouse at the Phoenician 6000 East Camelback Road
Ever heard of a purse stool? Over time, that is what The Phoenician’s former tenant, Mary Elaine’s, became known for — a pocketbook getting its own seat. Named for Mary Elaine Fette, the wife of big banker Charles Keating, Mary Elaine’s opened in 1988 with a hard-matched fine-dining vibe. In addition to the French-inspired menu — think caviar and foie gras — there was a team of five sommeliers, a master sommelier, and a 40,000-bottle wine inventory worth $3 million. The James Beard Foundation recognized chefs Alex Stratta, James Boyce, and Bradford Thompson during their tenures.
photos: Bob Dreste/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr / Charles Barth
After 20 years, the spot closed in 2008, then became and remains J&G Steakhouse .
My Florist Café / Potbelly Sandwich Shop 534 West McDowell Road
Young bucks and those who’ve recently moved to the Valley may have noticed the large, purple, retro-looking sign atop the plaza northeast of Seventh Avenue and McDowell Road. The sign for My Florist no longer advertises an actual tenant, but now instead, the plaza as a whole. That’s because the bohemian-esque My Florist Café closed in 2010, but Glen Guyett’s artwork remains, thank goodness. The spot was a flower shop under the same name from 1947 to 1996 when it was morphed into My Florist Café by California land developer David Lacey.
photos: Tempe History Museum / Charles Barth
Monti’s La Casa Vieja / Unoccupied 100 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
Known as Tempe’s oldest restaurant, Monti’s La Casa Vieja operated at the southwest corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway for nearly 60 years. In fact, it was also the oldest continually occupied building in greater Phoenix. Monti’s was opened in 1956 by Leonard Monti, a military veteran and, later, a restaurateur. He’s the one who decided the Hayden House (the little abode where Arizona’s first U.S. representative, Carl Hayden, was born in 1877) would be the ideal site for a restaurant. The eatery became a classic dinner spot along Mill Avenue, serving prime rib and steaks to diners surrounded by Southwestern decor. Son Michael Monti took over in 1993 till it closed in 2014 because of rising operational costs.
A Potbelly Sandwich Shop now occupies the same suite.
photos: Katherine Amy Vega/Kataklizmic Design / Charles Barth
Today, the corner spot sits shuttered and seemingly untouched.
Riazzi’s Italian Garden / Quartiere 2700 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
Riazzi’s Italian Garden lit up the corner of Mill Avenue and Alameda Drive for three decades — since 1989, to be exact. But the family-owned Italian restaurant originally opened in 1945 at 15th Avenue and McDowell Road before moving to a second location at 53rd and Van Buren streets in 1947. The Tempe spot was its third and final destination till its closing in 2017. But not much changed, food-wise. The spot is now Quartiere , Italian for “district” or “neighborhood,” and serves traditional Italian food. It also kept the lights on, literally, for that cozy front patio.
photos: Courtesy of the Scottsdale Historical Society/Scottsdale Public Library / Charles Barth
Pink Pony Scottsdale / Unoccupied 3831 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Where to begin with the Pink Pony, the old baseball fan or player hangout and steakhouse planted conspicuously in Old Town Scottsdale? Claudia Ogden opened the joint in 1947 at Scottsdale Road and Main Street (though it moved down a few suites in 1970), but it was immediately, and famously, sold to Charlie Briley in 1948, who ran it for five decades. Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and Sandy Koufax were among its many famous diners. It was closed in 2009, reopened in 2011 by Danny Little and Tim Smith, and closed again in 2013. Though added to Scottsdale’s Historic Register in 2004, the old-school sports bar tried to modernize after being purchased by Mark Shugrue in 2013. Pink Pony closed for the third and final time in summer 2016. Some of the decor was auctioned off in 2017, and the spot has sat untouched since.
photos: Kyle Lamb / Erick Geryol
RoxSand Restaurant and Bar / Removed 2594 East Camelback Road
The Biltmore Fashion Park restaurant RoxSand operated as an upscale eatery from 1986 till it suddenly closed in 2003. Food & Wine magazine listed it as one of the top 25 restaurants in America, and it was named for chef and owner RoxSand Scocos McCreary — a James Beard Award-winning chef who was the first person to grace the cover of Bon Appetit magazine. Inside, the decor was modern, fashionable, or “stark” as Zagat Southwest Top Restaurants Guide called it, with fancy light fixtures, expensive artwork, and an international menu. RoxSand was Shore’s favorite restaurant that has since closed. “It was such a unique place, and the food was always spot on,” he says. “It was one of those places where I could take out-of-town guests and they would just be amazed.”
photos: Lilia Menconi / Jackie Mercandetti
Rose & Crown / Anhelo Restaurant 628 East Adams Street
For years, the Silva House, built in 1900 in what is now Heritage Square, operated as the Rose & Crown — an English-themed pub and haven for downtown drinkers, college students, and soccer fans. There was a pool table, drink specials, a monstrous wall mural of humans with limbs certainly not to scale, and funny smells patrons blissfully ignored after another pint. But then, Rose & Crown closed in 2018. Swiftly, in spring 2019, the house became Anhelo Restaurant (though it was briefly under the name Hidden Kitchen), an upscale dinner spot with a soft, modern interior. This is where chef Ivan Jacobo is operating. However, the Silva House’s general layout within has been, as the law requires, preserved.
photos: New Times Archives / Charles Barth
former diners and fans. In the last days, guests began writing their names and memories on the walls of the downtown restaurant staple.
Today, Sing High Chop Suey House is closed tight.
The Original Wineburger / Short Leash Hotdogs & Rollover Doughnuts 4221 North Seventh Avenue While the paint job on the Seventh Avenue location of The Original Wineburger had read “est. 1965,” this is actually its second site after relocating from a longtime spot at 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road.
photos: Visitor7/Wikipedia / Charles Barth
Stories of how McCreary closed the restaurant overnight without a word, to members of her staff or otherwise, are neither here nor there. Today, the site, as well as that second floor, no longer exists at the Biltmore.
photos: The Original Wineburger Facebook / Lauren Cusimano
Sing High Chop Suey House / Unoccupied 27 West Madison Street
This downtown staple was supposed to be named Shanghai Chop Suey House, but lines were crossed, something was misheard, and the sign read Sing High Chop Suey House for 90 years till it closed in 2018. The Cantonese restaurant was opened in 1928 by the Lee family, who took to Facebook in the final days to actually mail out the restaurant’s decor, including menus and placemats, to
In 1973, the Ramada chain acquired the hotel and the restaurant was named Summerfield’s. The spot is now ZuZu — named for a mother and grandmother cook who’d passed down a secret family recipe or two.
Trader Vic’s / Citizen Public House 7111 East Fifth Avenue, Scottsdale
When tiki culture was hot in Phoenix (much, much more than it is now), Trader Vic’s was definitely the spot. The Polynesian- inspired chain mentioned by Warren Zevon and many others had a post in Old Town Scottsdale from 1962 to 1990 (and again at Hotel Valley Ho from 2006 to 2011). Phoenix’s piece of the chain was one of roughly 25 around the world and offered costumed dancing and certainly drinking
photos: Hotel Valley Ho / Hotel Valley Ho
But the unassuming, single-story structure along the Melrose curve was previously home to Harley’s Italian Bistro, and, later, to Toasted — a place serving mostly grilled cheese. The same spot is now Short Leash Hotdogs & Rollover Doughnuts , there since 2018. The popular food truck (and still that) made its second attempt at a permanent location here on Seventh Avenue after relocating from Roosevelt Row. The Restaurant at Hotel Valley Ho / ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho 6850 East Main Street, Scottsdale The quintessential example of Midcentury Modern architecture, Hotel Valley Ho was built in 1956 and since has offered some sort of onsite restaurant. In fact, the first one was called just that — the restaurant at Hotel Valley Ho.
photos: Courtesy of the Scottsdale Historical Society/Scottsdale Public Library / Charles Barth
Looking out onto the intersection of 58th and Glendale avenues, the ice cream and candy shop was a popular hangout in the 1940s. Neighboring the Sprouse-Reitz Building, Upton’s was usually packed with after-school kids, after-movie teens, and after-work farmers. The suite eventually became the apparel store Kathy’s Corner and Old Town Antiques, and is now Lemoncade .
photos: Glendale Arizona Historical Society / Lauren Cusimano
Willow House / HobNob’s Food & Spirits 149 West McDowell Road
— especially of the signature mai tai cocktail. The spot is now Citizen Public House , and still marked by the structural steeple at the entrance off Fifth Avenue. And, found on the house cocktail menu, The Rise of Vic mixes rum cask Irish whiskey with the house orgeat, dry curacao, lime, and pineapple.
The Willow House was a coffee shop and local artist hangout, housed in a 1903-built home on the corner of Third Avenue and McDowell Road. People drank coffee, chatted, lit up cigarettes, listened to music, and read. It smelled like a head shop, the
You can’t spit in Old Towne Glendale without hitting a historic structure, not that you’d want to. Most of the restaurants in the historic downtown were something else entirely in the area’s classic American early days. But one place in particular seemed to have a clear vantage point — Upton’s Ice Cream Parlor.
decor was a little low rent, and the service was probably friendly if you were a regular, not so much if you weren’t.
10 CITIES. 300+ RESTAURANTS. 100+ CHEFS.
It was an especially happening spot in its time and place — the alternative ’90s and aughts. Plus, there was free Wi-Fi before that really became expected. It shuttered suddenly in 2008 over what was said to be rent disputes, but who really knows? Now, the iconic bungalow is HobNob’s Food & Spirits , with more or less the same vibe, but certainly less of a legacy. Phoenix New Times would like to thank Marshall Shore for his assistance with research for this story. Editor’s note: This article has been updated from its original version. Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times’ food editor. She is a journalist based in Tempe with more than 10 years of experience writing and editing. She enjoys eating wings, riding bikes, going to dive bars, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
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how gen z will change the industry
How Gen Z
Will Change the Restaurant Industry
Digital Connection Gen Z spends 6¬–8 hours online each day, or otherwise “connected,” through various devices. Instead of traditional advertising methods, Gen Z responds to digital engagement and interaction. Interestingly, their recommendations for restaurants come from peers and through the digital word of mouth that apps and community platforms, such as Yelp, provide. Restaurants can show they’re listening by starting a dialogue with customers on social media platforms. It’s also important to note the group’s affinity for instant gratification. Mobile applications for food-delivery or general interaction are becoming an industry staple. Restaurants should apply key
Here are of some of the top trends that define Gen Z and their impact on the restaurant industry.
It’s no secret that the restaurant industry is rapidly changing. From innovative food delivery platforms—such as UberEats, Postmates, and Seamless—to splashy, new restaurant chains targeting customers in innovative ways, the industry is adapting to a new wave of technology, innovation, and consumer expectations. We all know the industry is changing, but to keep up restaurants should understand who is impacting the industry, and what it means for the future. These changes are in large part due to a new cohort of customers: Generation Z, or “Gen Z.” They are the 83 million Americans born between 1995 and 2010, with very different dining habits from their predecessors. An ethnically diverse and health-conscious group, this generation is forcing restaurants to re-think their business, marketing and digital strategies. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Gen Z is defined as a socially conscious demographic that is known for their adventurous palette. Compared with the more self-conscious millennial, Gen Z wants to contribute to society, and looks to the private sector to do so as well. Here are of some of the top trends that define Gen Z and their impact on the restaurant industry: 60
digital strategies to remain relevant and capture Gen Z in as many occasions as possible such as dining in, takeout and delivery. For example, Chipotle engages customers through in-app games to earn food prizes and offers text-message promotions—a great way to target an audience that is attached to their devices. is more careful with their money. Growing up in the wake of the Great Recession, and watching their families and communities struggle financially, Gen Z is conditioned to be more financially cautious. Fiscal Conservatism The Gen Z demographic
Lincoln Financial Groupnotes Gen Z’s top three priorities are getting a job, finishing college and safeguarding their money. Restaurants can adapt to this by offering low-cost additions to the menu, which may entice younger customers to a restaurant. Generation Grazing Quick-service restaurants are more popular than ever, but modern consumers expect more convenient ways of ordering, and instant gratification. To attract Gen Z, it’s important to offer smaller portions and snack options, in addition to regularly portioned meals, for grazing throughout the day. While Gen Z may not sit down for lunch, they will grab food whenever it’s convenient, and to accommodate their schedules. Healthy Options In addition to smaller portions, Gen Z is also cognizant of what goes into the food they eat, and where it comes from. According to a Tufts Nutrition report, 41 percent of Gen Z say they would pay more for foods they perceive as healthier, compared to only 32 percent of millennials. Gen Z also look for sustainably sourced ingredients, and are tapped into “healthy” foods, such as those that are GMO-free and organic. Restaurants can adapt to these preferences by posting where produce comes from, and including nutrition information online and in stores. 63
As Gen Z matures and becomes a stronger consumer force, it makes sense for restauranteurs to understand Gen Z and prioritize digital engagement to stay relevant. Taking steps such as evaluating the menu, establishing social platforms and developing creative apps can help your business capture the attention of this critical audience. Cristin O’Hara is a Managing Director and Group Head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Restaurant Group (which includes BAML’s McDonald’s franchisee business) which is located in both Boston as well as Atlanta, with bankers also in Houston, Charlotte, and South Carolina. Cristin has been with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and its predecessor banks (the “Bank”) for over 20 years. During that time she has served as a senior structurer in debt capital markets forapproximately 10 years, as a Senior Credit Products Officer as well as a Senior Corporate Banker within the Global Corporate and Investment Bank for the Consumer and Retail Group. In 2012, Cristin and most of her clients, joined the Global Commercial Bank, as she accepted the role of Group Head for the Restaurant Group. Prior to joining the Bank, Cristin was a well ranked financial analyst in investment banking for Kidder Peabody & Co., Inc.
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changing menu dynamics
Restaurants and the Changing Dynamics of Their Menus
By Nitika Kapur, CEO & Co-Founder of Nukkadwala
of the people you serve. If a restaurant is launched by creating hype around through various marketing tools and not focus on its service, product and customer experience then it may become a fad and will be short-lived, which is also the prime reason for the rapid growth of restaurant shut down. One of the major reasons why QSRs, especially the company operated ones or franchise owned and company operated ones are successful is because they ensure the quality of the food and at the same time they focus on the quantity, pricing and
Transforming your customer experience means transforming your understanding of the people you serve
In recent years, the restaurant industry has become more complex and busy space. There is a clear demarcation in consumer demographics i.e., there are consumers who are getting attracted towards the fancy ambience, exotic dishes and do not think twice paying a bomb and on the other side extremely price-sensitive ones seeking value for money products. Restaurant menu prices reflect the restaurant strategies and target demographic. Whether you run a busy diner, casual cafe, or upscale bistro, knowing how to price a menu for a restaurant is a must-have skill. Most of the restaurants are likely to do some innovation with their menu in their pricing but struggling with setting the perfect price tag. If we may say so either they charging too much or too less for food. The best way to optimize a restaurant menu is to timely play with different variations of the same cuisine to attract more customers. It is really important to understand what your customer wants to eat and at the same time, it is also important to put the right price tag for the dishes depending on your target customer. Transforming your customer experience means transforming your understanding
customer experience with the same consistency all across. Consistent product/ service provides you with the trust of the customer and gives you an edge over other chains or stand-alone.
Factors About Changing Trends in the Restaurant Market
1. The changing diner demands and the accompanying new technologies bring extreme growth in the field of the restaurant industry. Restaurants are engaging with their customers digitally through digital apps or third-party service. This is an easy way to deliver the food on time and have an opportunity to grow in the restaurant industry. It ensures growth in customer data. 2. Nowadays consumers can order meals from multiple restaurants from a single app. Although it has a high logistics cost but ensures a smooth operation, and restaurants can manage to achieve margins of more than 30 per cent. 3. With an increase of more working couples and nuclear families and outgoing millennials, people tend to experiment more and loves to eat easy to cook a meal. Restaurants need to offer the products which are time-saving and also have a uniqueness of the product.
4. Social media also play a major factor which attracts the millennials. The restaurants need to be mindful, as the younger generation make their own decisions on service, music, food, and ambience. Restaurants need to adapt and modify their strategies to attract the younger audience. The millennial trends have been changing now and they are constantly adapting and connecting for higher expectations, quality and quantity, in short, they are more exposed and more aware. The increases competition in the restaurant business has made consumers expect more which has now become complex and has turned into a multifaceted process. QSR chain, especially fine dine and casual dining are more focusing on their social media presence which increases the direct interaction with the customers. Most of the consumers spend more time on phones than ever before. Food chains are focusing on innovative ideas over the food concept. They are changing their food concept using different menu ideas, customising food preparation. Chains are using the concept of fresh and healthy eating- using a natural, high –quality, home- prepared meal for the millennial. Today the focus is on niche value such as quick delivery, free delivery, real-time tracking which is the new consumer demand. Most of the restaurants attract the customers by sending specialized dishes with branded hashtags or extra service feature. 72
The best thing about the hospitality industry is one can’t predict what’s coming next. These adoptions may sound immense were adopting these factors would differentiate the growing restaurant industry. But the restaurants should be cautious with too many changes as one might end up losing their values and identity. In the coming future Indian restaurant have the extensive potential for value addition, means it will be one of the most important destinations for food producers.