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DADS AT WORK Meet True Salt’s Brian Pierce and Kelly Egan along with four other men prioritizing fatherhood and business

THE MAN ISSUE A guy-approved getaway Sizzling steaks Fragrances for fellas Best breweries statewide WWW.UPTOWNPHOENIX.COM | RICHMAN MEDIA GROUP | JUNE 2019

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Pulse 15 UP CLOSE Jonathan Whistman aka The Sales Boss

18 BEAT ON THE COVER: Kelly Egan and Brian Pierce of True Salt. Photo by Claudia Johnstone,

Thomas Porter on building his legacy


Features 28 DADS AT WORK Six men rocking their roles in fatherhood and business

Thomas Brenneman’s passion for performing

22 HIS STYLE Meet Zahid Arab

24 HER STYLE Meet Jess Fisher

26 NOTICED Fashionable men spotted at events


Uptown June ‘19



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Contents Now






Train and Goo Goo Dolls

It’s about time

Meat smoker




News to know

Fragrances for the fellas

2020 Jeep Gladiator

38 DO



Great upcoming events

Mix it up

Modern farmhouse

39 OUT



Breweries beyond the borough

Beach bound

Caribbean king



Noteworthy events

Gone golfing

42 EVENT Bite Nite

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Contents Taste 56 DRINK Whiskey talking

57 DISH Ocotillo’s Roasted Bone Marrow

58 CHEERS Dark and Mustachioed at The Little Woody

59 CUISINE In the kitchen with Alex Robinson of T. Cook’s

60 FOOD FILES Red-hot red meat

The Rest 10 TELL Editor’s note

62 SEEN Who went where and what happened

66 NEW IN TOWN Walter Station Brewery


Uptown June ‘19


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They say Saturday is for the boys but in the world of Uptown, the whole month of June is for the boys – or should we say men. Our annual Man Issue is back and manlier than ever. This month is the perfect time to focus on the fellas, especially since its Father’s Day! Speaking of dads, we’re featuring six dads (page 28) and asking them all about their roles in business and fatherhood. We’ve pretty much transformed this entire issue into a guy’s guide to life, from styles for the beach (page 48) and golf attire (page 49) to an amazing watch that would make any dad happy (page 45) and colognes (page 46) so you – or the man in your life – will make a statement in any room he goes in. In the food and beverage world, we’ve rounded up the best breweries to visit (roadtrip, anyone?) throughout the state on page 39 and we have the scoop on the new Walter Station Brewery downtown (page 66). If beer isn’t your thing, page 56 is a love letter to whiskeys. And what’s manlier than a sizzling steak? Page 60 is a roundup of red-hot red meat dishes in Phoenix. Or, maybe you’re more into preparing your own meal. Page 51 highlights a meat smoker that will inspire any amateur chef. Additional highlights include a review on the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup (page 52) and a guy-approved getaway to Cancun (page 54). Enjoy all that this month has to offer, guys!


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Uptown June ‘19

Gabby Leighton Editor-in-Chief Find our magazine on Facebook!



(623) 979-4445 CHANDLER

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Publisher Bill Richman

Vice President of Operations Stacey Richman

Editor-in-Chief Gabby Leighton

Creative Directors Lalo Reyes Anthony Cox


Contributing Writers Alison Bailin Batz, Mandy Holmes, Taryn Jeffries, Kaylor Jones, Elizabeth Liberatore, Brittany Maroney, Neyda Melina, Jim Prueter




David Apeji, Claudia Johnstone, Elizabeth Marie, Mark Morgan, Debby Wolvos


Advertising Art Director Lalo Reyes

Advertising Coordinator Stacey Richman


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P: 480.229.3122 10632 N. Scottsdale Road Suite B-215 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 © 2019, RICHMAN MEDIA GROUP, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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Jonathan Whistman aka “The Sales Boss” is fueled by authenticity and driven by passion

As an international best-selling author, Jonathan Whistman is helping business leaders gain a powerful advantage that transforms their organization one relationship at a time. On top of that, his passion for adventure is undeniable. From backpacking to traveling by motor home, the explorer’s childhood began as anything but typical.

Growing up as one of eight children, Whistman’s childhood was anything but standard. Raised in central Washington on a fruit orchard, his family was intertwined with a religious cult that kept him sheltered from the community which deeply contributed to his worldview until his late 20s when he broke free. Uptown June ‘19



“The catalyst for leaving was when my son was born 4.5 months premature and the doctors insisted that in order for him to have any chance to survive, he would need a blood transfusion,” Whistman recalls. “This was something the cult viewed as an unforgivable sin. It was this crisis that forced me to understand the difference between belief and how those beliefs play out in our life. Fortunately, I made the cut off from my family and it was many years before they would follow me out, gain their freedom and we could reconnect.” Because of this unique experience, he has come to understand how beliefs form and the process of changing beliefs that don’t serve a person well. In addition to writing The Sales Boss: The Real Secret to


Uptown June ‘19

Hiring, Training, and Managing a Sales Team, Whistman is the founder of the boutique sales consulting agency, The Sales Boss Consulting Group which focuses on helping companies increase their revenue through a focus on the sales team and sales processes. “Fundamentally, this [similar to my childhood] is the same challenge faced by companies, founders, CEOs and others that lead teams. They have beliefs, some of which they don’t even identify as beliefs because they’ve held them for so long; beliefs that need to be re-examined or changed in order to move their business forward,” he says. His experience in doing this himself and facing the insecurities of the process has helped him guide other business owners through the often times difficult process of change. Whistman stumbled upon The Sales Boss business idea thanks to the successes of other business ventures. Friends and colleagues asked him for assistance with their companies to improve sales and he found that he excelled in the area of consulting. “I tend to be able to go into a complex setting and quickly see the 5% change that can be made that accelerates revenue,” he explains. With every new client, Whistman watches his business evolve and what started out as a one-man show has grown into a team of six with the demand to grow. The force that drives Whistman is the fact that he is helping businesses help their families and contribute to causes that they are passionate about. “Nothing happens until someone sells something, so helping people sell enables everything else for them. I love seeing someone transform their belief about what is possible,” he says. In addition to a thriving career, The Sales Boss himself has enjoyed living in Phoenix thanks to the opportunity to meet his fiancee, Cassidy and her children and the variety of outdoor activities offered year-round – especially the trails. The avid hiker started with a 400-mile Camino de Santiago hike across Spain from St. Jean-Pied-a Port in France and has currently logged over 1,200 miles of hiking below the rim of the Grand Canyon. Up next, he and his fiancee plan to hike down to the base of Ribbon Falls to exchange their wedding vows in October. Whistman’s family also appreciates roaming around the country and have been to 19 of the 50 states. Currently, he is working on a project with Rigetti Computing, who built one of the world’s first commercially available Quantum computers. The computers are said to be more powerful than today’s most capable supercomputers. “[The work they are doing will] provide some of the solutions to the world’s largest challenges around global warming, disease, biology and chemistry,” Whistman says. To Whistman, success is living authentically and having the freedom to choose who and what you spend your life on. From facing a challenging childhood to finding his place in Phoenix to writing a best-selling book, building his business and finding love, The Sales Boss is truly living out the practices he teaches to others.

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Pulse BEAT

BUILDING AN EMPIRE Thomas Porter sources special materials for meaningful projects


Like most kids, Arizona native Thomas Porter grew up building with Legos. He also grew up working beside his grandfather in his garage woodshop. “I always admired how [my grandfather] could build whatever he felt,” Porter says. Porter’s passion for woodworking followed him to adulthood. By day, he was a massage therapist; a career that spanned 12 years. At night, he worked on commissioned pieces out of his garage woodshop. Eventually, with the support of his family and friend Craig Suiter, he established Porter Barn Wood in 2010. Porter Barn Wood enables designers, architects, builders, home and business owners and DIYers to construct something special out of meaningful materials. Porter travels across the US, frequenting the East Coast and the South, to source wood for his inventory. “I love to see the wood in its roughest condition, transformed into functional art,” he says. Wood isn’t the only hot ticket on order. Porter’s business carries an immense selection of live edge slabs, which make for stunning tables, countertops and benches. His team of skilled professionals deserves just as much bragging rights, if not more, as his inventory. “I didn’t think I would have as many employees as I do, build such fun projects or have the opportunity to bring so many of my creative outlets into one place,” Porter says. “I don’t know what the future holds, but it certainly will not be dull.” Home life is never dull either. The husband and father of two is always encouraging his kids to follow their dreams while also enlisting their help in his shop from time to time. “I love seeing their faces light up when they get to build something ridiculous,” he smiles. “The entrepreneurial bug has bitten them, too.” Music is another creative outlet for this woodworker. He is a songwriter and musician in a couple bluegrass bands (search Thomas Porter on iTunes to find them). Porter is also a classic car lover and self-proclaimed foodie.


Uptown June ‘19



480.443.3030 7293 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Pulse BEAT

A PASSION TO PERFORM Thomas Brenneman is a restaurant manager by day, rock star by night


As lead guitarist for local indie rock band El West, Thomas Brenneman splits his time between managing Phoenix hot spots Angels Trumpet Ale House and Tall Glass Lounge and entertaining crowds on stage. Brenneman has played a role in various bands for 15 years, but after a five-year hiatus from playing, it was his day job that helped guide him back to his passion in the industry. “It wasn’t until I started working for my current bosses that I got back into music. They actually pushed me because they knew how much it meant to me. I can’t thank them enough for that. That’s when I joined El West and the rest is history,” he says. El West was already a band when Brenneman joined, but they had not been very active in the Phoenix music scene. With the addition of a bass player and drummer, the band has accomplished quite a bit in a short amount of time, including the release of a new single and music video. The band also performed at The March Madness Music Festival, where they opened for Leon Bridges, Grouplove, and The Chainsmokers. Brenneman is also at the helm of their annual charity concert benefiting Grey Matter Bicycles and Barrow Neurological Institute. While the band is ever-evolving musically, it’s Brenneman’s understanding of the business side of the industry that gives El West the upper hand. “We’re constantly having to change our ways as the music industry changes, which is all the time, and having to find new creative ways for promotion,” he says. Luckily for his bandmates, Brenneman studied audio production and music business in college and worked on that side of the business after graduating. As he continues to write and play music as a creative and emotional outlet, the driven frontman recently started spending more time in the studio to focus on his solo project of ambient instrumental songs titled Still Motions. Follow both of his journeys on Instagram at @stillmotions and @elwestmusic.


Uptown June ‘19



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MAKING HEADLINES Zahid Arab looks polished on and off the air


In his memorable ensembles and perfectly tailored suits, Zahid Arab looks like just the type of guy you’d trust to deliver the news. The Tempe native and ASU grad is not only an Emmy-winning reporter but serves as the managing editor for Arizona’s Family at channel 3TV and CBS5. The morning fixture describes his style as trendy and functional and considers himself a trend observer, rather than a trendsetter. “One of my favorite things to do when traveling to cities like NYC or LA is to get inspiration for what people are wearing there. I’m not interested in what the GQ model with the six-pack is wearing, I pay attention to how someone with my body type dresses to look good,” he says. Both on the small screen and off, Arab experiments with simple designs including stripes, solid colors and the occasional funny pattern like skulls on a button-down shirt. His must-have item? “There is nothing better than a tailored suit. It oozes confidence and makes a great first impression.” For Zahid, it’s his Timo Weiland blazer from New York. Even if it means spending a few more bucks, Arab insists on tailoring to get the perfect fit. “Clothing too tight or too loose is minor league,” he advises.

What are your favorite brands? I love Ted Baker for the quality and design, and Zara for the affordability and fit. What would someone say if they looked at your closet? Do you really need five suits in different shades of blue? Why yes…it’s in my color wheel. Share some style advice. Whenever you’re having a bad week, buy yourself something new. Whether it’s a new tie, pair of shoes or outfit, every worry in the world will fade when you’re lifted up with compliments!


Uptown June ‘19

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ROCKER CHIC Jess Fisher balances an edgy yet modern vibe


Rocker style isn't only about ripped jeans and grungy band tees for digital marketer Jess Fisher. The feisty fashionista with Colombian roots has a passion for dogs, power shopping through Saks Fifth Avenue, and all things rock ’n’ roll. Working with brands and influencers on a daily basis, Fisher is well aware of fashion trends but that doesn’t mean she follows all of them. “Working with style influencers, I need to have a deep understanding of current and upcoming trends. I’ll admit there are some things I’ll never embrace personally, like Grandpa sneakers and Balenciaga’s shoes that look like socks, but I feel it’s important to stay immersed and engaged in the direction fashion is going,” she says. Fisher mixes wardrobe basics with luxury touches like bold metallics and spiked boots. Although her closet is stocked with plenty of black and leather options to showcase her inner rocker, she turns to Alice and Olivia for sparkly, colorful and playful designs and doesn’t shy away from a good skull print and Forever 21 accessories.

What is your must-have item when it comes to fashion? An awesome distressed leather jacket. It’s perfect for yoga pants and a pair of Common Projects sneakers or a cocktail dress. What is your most prized possession in your closet? My vintage Metallica T-shirt collection. It’s my go-to with a pair of jeans and a blazer or a metallic midi skirt. Do you consider yourself a trendsetter? Maybe. I liked leather and skulls before [Alexander] McQueen was a thing.


Uptown June ‘19



The Valley of the Sun Active 20-30 Club hosted this 25th annual event, where guests donned Gatsby-themed attire at the Wrigley Mansion


Eric Hitchcock and Todd Nelson

Kendall Leslie

Tyler Jacobs and Chase Goebem

Fletcher Anderton

Ryan Roe

Brian Royal and Ryan Donahue


Uptown June ‘19




Guests celebrated Desert Botanical Garden’s 80th anniversary at this annual fundraising gala


Michael Costello and Ben Menke

Marvin Wilkinson and Justin Nee

Jared McKenna and John Laulis

Rex Short and Jeff McKeever

Bill Schmidt and Derek Ellsworth

Josh Reyes, James McEntire and Ethan Wessel

Uptown June ‘19







Uptown June ‘19

RUSS PERRY Entrepreneur Russ Perry has an interesting habit. “Whenever my life is nearing a crossroads, I have a daughter,” says Perry, who welcomed his oldest, Maddix, as a senior in college while working toward graduation and trying to find his first adult job. A new father, Perry took a position with LG Electronics doing graphic design in 2005. But there was just one problem. “My degree was in industrial design and other than using Photoshop, I’d never done computer-led design,” Perry says. “Thankfully, I was a quick study.” And while he picked up the profession with ease, he never took to 12-hour days away from Maddix – or having a boss. “After LG and a stint at Apple, I went out on my own, opening a creative agency in 2006. I ran that until 2012,” Perry says. He welcomed his second daughter, Reese, that same year. By 2014, Perry had opened and closed another business and was at the biggest crossroads of his life. “I was in a full-on, early onset midlife crisis at just 31, quickly heading down a dark path,” Perry says. “Thankfully, in 2015, my youngest, Paige, came along. As it always seems to happen with me, I found my way at about the same time.” Perry opened Design Pickle in 2015, growing it into a highly successful flat-rate graphic design service in just four years. “We’ve grown to over 200 employees and are looking to expand into Australia and the United Kingdom to keep up with international demand,” says Perry, who also released a book in 2017 titled The Sober Entrepreneur, where he shares lessons learned about work, life and being present. Today, when he’s not with the kids or busy building his business, he can be heard on Good to be Home, an upbeat, inspirational podcast featuring Perry and his wife, Mika.


Uptown June ‘19




Uptown June ‘19

For Fred Bueler, life is all about the chase – and the CHASSE. As a father of three boys under age 6 – Freddie, Lincoln and Jackson – much of Bueler’s personal time is spent tracking them down for snacks, story time or sports. “The biggest chase these days? Chasing them down in an attempt to get them to nap,” Bueler says. All of his work time is similarly dedicated to CHASSE Building Team, where he serves as a project director for the 130-member general contractor company behind such projects as the Biltmore area’s The Shops at Town & Country, Scottsdale’s Cheyenne Traditional School, and Phoenix’s Madison Meadows Middle School. “We have about $300 million in projects in development right now, from retail centers to schools to a state-of-the-art animal shelter,” Bueler says. He also carves out time to chase other people’s kids while on the job now and then. “In an effort to enhance the construction process on school campuses, we work to engage the students through educational classes, presentations and tours,” Bueler says. The STEM-based CHASSE program, which Bueler chairs and helps implement in schools across Arizona, includes classroom instruction and assemblies while allowing students to learn about the construction process, gain firsthand knowledge on the construction of their new school, and learn about different career paths in the construction industry. This program actually inspired Bueler, who is a recent past-member of the Scottsdale Active 20-30 Club, where he chaired both Brokers for Kids and Agents Benefiting Children, to get more involved in teaching and mentorship as well. “In 2017, I became a Scottsdale Charro,” says Bueler, who just finished fundraising for the organization throughout spring training in April. “My chief focus is fundraising to help maximize CHASSE’s charitable donations that support various charities and our education outreach initiatives for local teachers and children.”

BRIAN PIERCE AND KELLY EGAN Brian Pierce and Kelly Egan are a little salty, and not because they have a combined seven kids between them – all girls – ranging in age from 1 to 19. “We’re salty about the quality of actual salt being used in our food today,” Egan says. But that’s jumping ahead. Pierce is the former director of food and beverage for both The Phoenician and Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. He also founded Urban Tavern and Tavern Americana in Scottsdale before taking on the master franchise rights of the CaliBurger chain throughout Mexico and Latin America in 2017. Egan got his start in technology, notably working as the strategic director for Best Buy before heading to Silicon Valley to invest in and build several businesses, one of which he sold to Google. He eventually invested in CaliBurger, immediately connecting with Pierce. “We were both looking at ways to spend more time with our families and a way to help other families live healthier lives,” Pierce says. “Given my franchise region, we were down in Mexico often, eventually learning about salt from the Sea of Cortez.” The salt derived from Cortez is allnatural and rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. “After a year of planning and development, we launched True Salt in 2018,” Egan says. “Unlike iodized salts that are refined and processed, True Salt contains no chemicals or anti-caking agents and is never bleached.” Their first account was Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn. Since then, local restaurants including True Food Kitchen and Mora Italian have signed on. “Today, we have nearly 200 accounts nationally,” Pierce says. “And we just landed our first grocery store, Fred Meyer.” The best part: Now they are able to sit down to dinner (with True Salt on the table, of course) with their families far more often than not.


Uptown June ‘19




Uptown June ‘19

Scott Sanders is getting a sister – sort of. Sanders, who owns Octane Entertainment, will welcome Mavrix – a “sister” concept to Octane Raceway – by year’s end. “Mavrix will be located in the 50,000-square-foot retail space next door to Octane,” Sanders says. “They will total a combined 110,000 square feet with shared access to an outdoor games patio, so guests will be able to seamlessly flow between the two venues and use shared arcade game cards at both.” When complete, Mavrix will feature bowling, 85 arcade games, laser tag, billiards, 1,500 square feet of meeting and event space, and a 5,000-square-foot restaurant and bar with games on the patio. Arizona native Sanders, who grew up watching car racing with his father, first got the idea to bring these family-friendly concepts to the Valley after a serendipitous visit to California in the early 2000s. “In my former life, I was a consultant,” Sanders says. “One night while on business in Southern California, a colleague mentioned there was a place where you could race indoors. I was intrigued – my dad would have gotten the biggest kick out of it.” So, Sanders set out to create his own enhanced version in Arizona. “In 2003, Octane Raceway was born,” Sanders says. “As the concept evolved, we wanted to expand further, but at the time there was no space.” Once he married and became a dad to Brody, 8, and Dylann, 3, it only compounded his desire to develop another family-friendly concept. In 2018, when the Toys R Us next door to Octane shuttered, he saw it as the ultimate sign and made the move to open Mavrix in its place. “With both Octane concepts, my vision is to become the premier entertainment destination in the Valley – especially for families just like mine,” Sanders says.

STEVEN SHEETS In late 2018, Valley native Steven Sheets was named chief executive officer of Southwest Behavioral & Health Services (SB&H) at just 36 years old. “We are a leader in the development and delivery of services in the areas of housing, residential care, prevention services, outpatient services to children, autism spectrum disorder, school-based counseling, opioid replacement services, incarcerated persons, and dually-diagnosed adults,” says Sheets, noting that the organization provides services throughout Maricopa, Gila, Mohave, Coconino and Yavapai counties. But these responsibilities are not what keeps Sheets up at night. In addition to taking on the role of CEO at SB&H in 2018, Sheets also became a first-time father. “Nelson will be 1 in August, so my wife, Morgan, and I are going on 10 months without sleep, and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” Sheets says. While SB&H might prefer him with a few hours of rest now and then, without Nelson and Morgan, Sheets would never have gotten involved with SB&H in the first place. “In 2009, I left my then-career in retail management, determined to find something more meaningful,” Sheets says. “I also proposed to Morgan that year.” Her father agreed to give his blessing on one condition: Sheets get a job – fast. Within three weeks of the proposal, Sheets took on a behavioral health case management position with a local nonprofit, which changed his life forever. By 2013, with a master’s degree in professional counseling in hand, Sheets joined SB&H, eventually overseeing all outpatient services across Maricopa and Gila counties and helping launch a Southwest Autism Center of Excellence in 2017. “Another point of pride is SB&H’s four opioid replacement clinics throughout the state, which are working tirelessly to save lives and help alleviate the statewide opioid crisis,” Sheets says.


Uptown June ‘19




L O W D O W N / D O / C A L E N D A R / E V E N T / O U T / C U LT U R E


Excitement mounted when legendary bands Train and the Goo Goo Dolls announced they would be teaming up to co-headline an amphitheater tour this summer. On June 12, the musical legends will rock Ak-Chin Pavilion with special guest Allen Stone. This announcement accompanies the release of Train's most recent compilation album, Greatest Hits. The album unites popular tunes from Train's two decades of work, along with a cover of Careless Whisper. 7 p.m. Prices vary.

Uptown June ‘19




What better way to celebrate Dad than a round on the links? Golf Digest recently came out with their 2019 rankings of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses,” and Quintero Golf Club was the only ranked course in Arizona and No. 84 in the nation. The Peoria course was designed by master golf course architect Rees Jones.


Raise a glass of Veuve Clicquot to celebrate the weekend at Mountain Shadows this summer. Check in to the hotel or make a cabana reservation to indulge in Veuve Happy Hour poolside every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at The Citizens Club. Then, clink glasses during the Sunset Champagne Sabering Fridays at sunset, where there will be complimentary tastings and a special Champagne sabering on the Hearth ‘61 patio for resort guests and visitors.


Though National Bourbon Day is on June 14, Southern Rail will be commemorating the holiday all week long. From June 10 to June 14, enjoy the sweet and smoky signature taste of America’s whiskey with bourbon flights including three 1.5-ounce tastings ($23). Guests can choose from a selection of 13 options, including Copper City from Arizona Distilling Co., Bulleit Rye, Ancient Age, Rebel Yell, and Benchmark Old No. 8. The Southern-inspired restaurant will also utilize bourbon it in a variety of food specials and will be hosting a Bourbon & Bitters dinner in collaboration with AZ Bitters Lab as a part of their Arizona CoLab Dinner Series on June 12.


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As the temperatures heat up in the Valley, Mora Italian is cooling off with new summer bites. Under the creative direction of celebrity chef, and restaurateur, Scott Conant, the modern osteria recently made three menu additions: An Artichoke Soup with truffle, parmesan bread and pignoli; a Niman Ranch Prime 10-ounce NY Strip with charred tomato panzanella and grilled ramp vinaigrette; and a Roasted Summer Squash with smoked yogurt, feta and neonata.


Beckett’s Table will once again host its Grown Ups Table Dinner Series on select Wednesdays beginning June 19 through August 21. Chef Justin Beckett invites guests to come together for familystyle meals complete with beverage pairings around Beckett’s Table community table. Each event will feature a one-of-a-kind themed menu. $48 per person.


There’s a new vodka in town! Frankly Organic Vodka, Austin’s first organic vodka crafted with USDA certified organic, nonGMO, gluten-free ingredients, recently launched five flavors (original, strawberry, apply, grapefruit and pomegranate) to markets across Texas and Arizona. All of the vodkas from the company, which are distilled five times and filtered twice in small batches, are handcrafted from organic sweet corn and organic fruits, roots and botanicals harvested from healthy soils without the use of synthetic pesticides. The award-winning vodka company also gives back 1% of revenue to support no-kill animal shelters, sanctuaries, and/or animal cruelty advocacy organizations locally.


Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails recently debuted 16 tropicalinspired libations and a new lunch menu, crafted by head bartender Phil Clark and executive chef Dushyant Singh. A perfect pair to the Valley’s warmer weather, the new cocktails redefine what Caribbean cocktails look like in the desert, pulling inspiration from Jamaican flavors (all priced at $15). The new lunch menu is compiled of elevated versions of classic warm-weather dishes like hot dogs, fresh salads and protein-packed bowls. Uptown June ‘19


Now DO


Blues & Brews June 7-8, Continental Driving Range Blues and Brews celebrates all things, well, blues music and brews! Musicians Carvin Jones, Larkin Poe, The Jeremiah Johnson Band and others will perform live throughout the weekend. Vendors will be on-site selling wine, beer, food and merchandise. Youngsters can revel in the kid’s zone stocked with hula hoops, beach balls, games and more! Don’t fret, adults. Lawn games like cornhole are set up around the grounds for you. Prices vary. Friday gates open at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday gates open at 11 a.m. Made in the Shade Beer Tasting Festival June 8, Coconino County Fairgrounds This one's for you, beer aficionados. Made in the Shade Tasting Festival welcomes more than 50 breweries, including local faves like OHSO. Brewery and SanTan plus the classics, to Coconino County Fairgrounds. Quench your thirst with a cold one and order up some tapas from food vendors. Other event highlights include a Mountain Top Mashers beer competition, live music and more. Proceeds from the festival benefit Sun Sounds of Arizona, an organization that offers audio access to information for people with reading disabilities. Prices vary. 1 p.m. An Evening of Conscious Film with Gregg Braden June 9, Sedona Performing Arts Center Illuminate Film Festival showcases films that impact the mind, body and spirit. An Evening of Conscious Film with Gregg Braden follows suit. Braden is a five-time New York Times best-selling author and visionary in modern science and ancient wisdom. His life work is helping others realize their potential. This event celebrates Braden’s 30-year illustrious career with an evening of film and a Q&A with him. $35. 6-8:30 p.m. Tilted Earth Festival June 22, Page Spring Cellars Tilted Earth celebrates the Verde Valley community with an outdoor concert, games and wine tastings from Northern Arizona wineries. Festivalgoers receive a free, reusable stemless glass with the purchase of a ticket. For an additional charge, snag food, craft drinks and fine art items from vendors on-site. The music performances start early and end late. This year’s lineup includes Pedrito Martinez Band, Joe Novelli and the Cloudwalls and House of Stairs. Tilted Earth is designed to foster community, creativity and fun! $65-$75. 6 p.m.-midnight. Flagstaff Folk Festival June 29-30, Coconino Center for the Arts and Pioneer Museum Flagstaff’s scenic vistas are the perfect backdrop for a folk and acoustic concert. Over two days, more than 100 folk and acoustic acts will perform live on five stages. On Saturday night, there will be a special performance by The Roots & Boots Allstar Band with guests. Guided music workshops will take place as well as informal jam sessions throughout. So even if you aren’t performing, bring your instrument and play with fellow festivalgoers. Individual ticket, $5 per day; Family ticket, $15 per day. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. World’s Oldest Rodeo July 1-7, Prescott Rodeo Grounds If you haven’t already experienced the World’s Oldest Rodeo, now is the time. For 132 years, Prescott Frontier Days celebrates a time-honored Western tradition, rodeo! This year, spectators will enjoy eight exciting performances like bareback riding, tie-down roping and women’s barrel racing. Ancillary events include a rodeo dance and parade, an arts and crafts show and a kid-friendly rodeo. There’s no better way to get a taste of the wild, Wild West than at the World’s Oldest Rodeo. Ticket prices and times vary by performance.



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BREWS BEYOND THE BOROUGH Creative crafts a short car ride away

There’s nothing better than an ice-cold beer on a scorching summer day. Luckily, Arizona has become a hot spot for craft brews. While there are quite a few Phoenix-area beer destinations, expand your horizons and hop in the car to explore statewide sippers for a unique summer roadtrip.


Historic Brewing Company The Historic Brewing Company in Flagstaff has dubbed themselves the “Makers of Craft Beer and Awesomeness” and the title doesn’t lie. The beer enthusiasts here strive to come together and create a craft beer experience that is exciting, fulfilling, and delicious. Complete with a tasting room, dog-friendly beer garden, and patio offering 15 rotating taps of mainstay, seasonal, and limited release beers including the Undercover Cucumber Ale, Historic Brewing Company is a beer lover’s paradise. Grand Canyon Brewery and Distillery Within the small town of Williams lies the Grand Canyon Brewery and Distillery – a boozy hot spot for tap beers and artisanal spirits. In addition to producing award-winning brews, the distillery churns out its signature Prickly Pear Vodka and Orange Blossom Vodka as well as over 50 barrels of bourbon, whiskey and other craft spirits made in-house from start to finish and currently aging for future release. www. Pueblo Vida Brewing Company Located in the heart of downtown Tucson, Pueblo Vida creates an authentic beer drinking experience by brewing unique and world-inspired beer styles that are locally crafted by a passionate group of desert dwellers committed to quality and consistency in the world of craft beer. With a focus toward sustainability and local community, Pueblo Vida releases two to three cans every month, most of which are a constantly rotating line up of pale ales, IPAs, and double IPAs. THAT Brewery Found in Pine, Arizona, this gastropub offers local craft beers and hearty bar food. With a lively patio seating area and volleyball court, THAT brewery has earned its reputation as the local hangout. The creative brews, like Strawberry Blonde and Goat Milk Caramel Stout, are sure to please any variety of beerlover. Granite Mountain Brewing Prescott’s Granite Mountain Brewery is the perfect spot to grab a glass of small-batch handcrafted American-style ale brewed on-site. The laid-back brewery and taproom serves Arizona-made wine and various flights to sample everything on tap. Take a seat and enjoy the view from the brewhouse, unwind in an armchair, or try your luck at board games with friends between bites and sips at this local favorite.

Uptown June ‘19




June 15, Phoenix Convention Center Over 500 custom rides including low riders, hot rods, motorcycles, bicycles and trucks will be on display as their paint jobs, impeccable interiors and custom body modifications shine at this air-conditioned car show. In addition to these wow-worthy custom autos, the fifth annual Father’s Day weekend event will also include live music, airbrush and pinstripe demonstrations, and a charity auction benefiting Make-A-Wish Arizona. General admission, $20; Veterans and active duty military personnel, $15; children under 12, free. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.


Color Riot Through Sept. 2, The Heard Museum The Heard Museum presents Josef Alber’s Mexican textile exhibition. Visitors will have a rare opportunity to explore the visual similarities in the use of color, repetition and design between Navajo textiles from the last quarter of the 19th century and the iconic paintings of Josef Albers. The textiles reflect ideas and events the weavers experienced between 1863 and 1868, the hard years of their imprisonment in the Bosque Redondo, and their subsequent


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return to a reservation. Included with paid museum admission. Recurring daily. Lunch Time Theater: Mother of Invention June 3-13, Herberger Theater Produced by Weiss Productions, this everyday woman’s journey of hope and happiness, loss and life is told through stories and music. You’ll be inspired, as well as encouraged by this amazing woman’s path through hardship, heartache, and eventual success. Enjoy while indulging in lunch as you can pre-order your meal from TLC Café

Whether seasoned with “salt, pepper, or cyanide,” this is one unforgettable family dinner Prices and dates vary. Arizona Rattlers face the Tucson Sugar Skulls June 9, Talking Stick Resort Arena It’s the war of the desert cities as the Indoor Football League's Arizona Rattlers face the Tucson Sugar Skulls. Can the league-leading Arizona Rattlers maintain their hold on the IFL against some of their toughest and most local rivals? It’s a fun filled day on the turf, great for family members of all ages. 3:05 p.m. $10. Spamilton: An American Parody June 12-30, The Phoenix Theatre Company Don’t miss this “convulsively funny” parody from the comic mastermind behind the long-running hit Forbidden Broadway. After tearing it up in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Spamilton: An American Parody will stage a singing, dancing, comedy revolution in Phoenix for a limited time only. Whether you’ve seen the production of Hamilton or not, this show is one you won’t want to miss. 8-10 p.m. Prices vary. www.

when purchasing tickets. Noon. $7.

Lasers & Liquor: Beyoncé and Queen June 13, Arizona Science Center Experience royalty like you never have before, at Lasers & Liquor: Beyoncé and Queen. Fall Crazy In Love with the Arizona Science Center’s state-of-the-art laser system, which includes 14 mind-blowing special effects. Let the hightech, multi-colored laser light show on the Dorrance Planetarium dome rock you. And, practice those scales because karaoke starts on the dome at 6:30 p.m. Grab an adult beverage and get ready to be entertained during this event, perfect for a date night or girls’ night out. $10.

The Addams Family June 7-30, Arizona Broadway Theatre When you’re an Addams, it’s the ultimate nightmare! Daughter Wednesday, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family. While her parents wonder, all Wednesday wants is one normal night, but everything is about to change as they host a dinner for her fiance and his parents.

Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell June 13, Ak-Chin Pavilion Headlining a major event like the Stagecoach Country Music Festival is no easy feat, let alone headlining that same fest a trio of times in its 13-year existence. Singer-songwriter Luke Bryan, like many artists at Stagecoach, rose through the ranks. He played earlier day sets in 2008 and again in 2012 before finally landing his own national headline tour alongside

country legend Cole Swindell. It’s a feet stomping tour you won’t want to miss. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary.

glamour and wow-factor fans have come to expect of Jenny from the Block. Prices Vary. 8 p.m. www.

Dueling Pianos June 14, Desert Botanical Gardens Nothing says a great night outdoors like dueling pianos! Enjoy the cooler nights and clap along with tunes from two pianos and two very special voices as they fill Dorrance Hall. All with an unforgettable clap along and singalong experience that you are sure not to forget. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for early birds. Food and drink available for purchase. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Members, $24.95; general admission, $29.95.

Musical Icons: Johnny Cash and June Carter June 22-23, Musical Instrument Museum We all remember his husky voice and her melodic tunes. Commemorate the lives and legacies of legendary singers and performers Johnny Cash and June Carter. In honor of June Carter’s 90th birthday, come and listen to curator talks, enjoy film screenings, and discover more about these two American musical icons. 9-5 p.m. Included with paid museum admission.

Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration Jun 15, Eastlake Park Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the ending of slavery in the U.S. and offers a time to come together and celebrate the rich cultural history of our country’s African Americans. Expect several guest speakers, against the backdrop of music and dance, sports activities, film screenings, workshops and live entertainment. 4 p.m. Free. www. Bloomin’ Beerfest June 15, The Irish Cultural Center There’s nothing better than a cold beer on a hot summer evening At this festival, enjoy craft beer tastings, live music, a costume contest, and some scandalous readings from the banned book that shook Ireland and the U.S. Each year, the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library commemorate the day in 1904 when the novel takes place through its annual “Bloomsday” celebration. Guests get a souvenir Bloomsday tasting cup and a card good for 16 beer tastings. $30. 7-11 p.m. Jennifer Lopez: It’s My Party Tour June 16, Talking Stick Resort Arena Music and entertainment powerhouse Jennifer Lopez recently revealed details of her highly anticipated It’s My Party Tour, her first ever headlined tour in America. Fans can anticipate a signature Jennifer Lopez show each night. Fittingly, the It’s My Party Tour will feature a nonstop party mix of Jennifer’s new and classic anthems, showstopping choreography and dancers, dazzling wardrobe, jawdropping technology and set design, and all of the

Santana and The Doobie Brothers: The Supernatural Tour June 22, Ak-Chin Pavilion The Doobie Brothers and Santana land on the stage of Ak-Chin Pavilion in honor of the 50th anniversary of their legendary Woodstock set and the 20th anniversary of their comeback album, Supernatural. It’s a pairing that went down in history and still delights fans of all ages. Don’t miss their performance at the beautiful open-air arena. 7 p.m. Prices vary. Grand Canyon Centennial Summerfest June 22-29, Grand Canyon National Park The centennial summerfest will bring together park partners to showcase everything Arizona has to offer. At night, park visitors can explore the wonders of the night sky at the star party. To kick off its star party, Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate its designation as an International Dark Sky park. Visitors can learn about dark skies with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association. Amateur astronomers from across the country volunteer their expertise and offer free nightly astronomy programs and telescope viewing. Free. Eddie Izard June 22, Orpheum Theatre Get ready to laugh all night long. During his last comedy tour titled Force Majuere, Izard made comedy history by performing in 45 countries, including all 50 U.S. states, and he did it in four languages. Critics called his previous tour the most extensive comedy show ever and now Eddie is back to his roots with an all-new show which expands on his own very unique, totally surreal view of life, love, history and his “theory of the universe.” 8 p.m. Prices vary.


June 21, Comerica Theatre Television personality, Emmy nominee, and hairstylist to the stars, Jonathan Van Ness has quickly become known in the entertainment industry for his fabulous, unstoppable energy. It is his belief that great hair is best served with a side of witty banter. Jonathan can be seen starring on Netflix’s Queer Eye, which premiered in February 2018. In the hit reboot of the Emmy Award-winning series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Van Ness shines as the show’s groomer, hair guru and self-care advocate. 7 p.m. Prices vary. Uptown June ‘19




Phoenix Bite Nite celebrates 10 years of uniting local chefs and the community to raise funds for ALS


IF YOU GO… What: Phoenix Bite Nite When: June 15, 6-10 p.m. Where: Arizona Biltmore, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix Tickets: Individual, $150; table of 10, $1,500 Information:

On June 15, The ALS Association Arizona Chapter will present its showstopping culinary and fundraising event, Phoenix Bite Nite, at the historic Arizona Biltmore. The 21-plus evening will include a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, mystery boxes, and tastes from top Valley chefs. First introduced in 2009 by The ALS Association Arizona Chapter, the nonprofit health organization’s signature fundraising event has been lauded as one of the best culinary gatherings in the Valley. Now in its 10th year, Phoenix Bite Nite is projected to be bigger and better than ever. The foodie-focused evening will include a special surprise performance and a program that will recognize the association’s top donors in honor of a decade supporting those with


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Lou Gehrig’s disease – also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This year, some the most beloved restaurants in the Valley will team up to showcase dishes that are sure to please the epicure in everyone. Restaurants will include Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar, Frank & Albert’s, Benedict’s, Ling & Louie’s, Eddie Merlot’s, Cien Agaves, and Meat the Ball, among others. At 6 p.m., an expected 800-plus guests will gather in the foyer of the luxurious Arizona Biltmore for a cocktail hour that includes wine, beer, appetizers, exclusive mystery boxes, live music, a raffle, and a silent auction. After an hour of mingling, the doors to the grand ballroom will open at 7

p.m. as the renowned culinary superstars of the evening get ready to share their top food and drink offerings. After dinner, a live auction will continue to raise crucial funds to support local patients diagnosed with ALS. Each year, ALS affects thousands of people across the world. Founded in 1991, the Arizona chapter of The ALS Association provides free programs that help patients and their families manage ALS with dignity and hope. Proceeds from Phoenix Bite Nite will help the organization continue to serve people throughout the state as they search for a cure for the debilitating disease. Though the event shows that it is sold out online, those who call 602.297.3800 and mention So Scottsdale or Uptown magazine will be guaranteed tickets.

UPDATE YOUR LOOK, IMPROVE YOUR IMAGE! New York Trained Custom Clothier Opens Arcadia Location Q. Contrary, a local custom clothier, recently opened its first retail location in Arcadia. New York trained designer, Mary Zarob, owner of Q. Contrary, assists men and women with styling and creating a wardrobe of business and casual clothes that fit better, allowing customers to achieve their best look in today’s fashions. Q. Contrary offers custom made and ready made suits, jackets, slacks, and shirts. In addition to tailored clothing and alterations, Q. Contrary offers a line of Travis Mathew golf attire and men’s accessories. With the opening of Q. Contrary’s Arcadia location at 3188 East Indian School Road, the latest spring fabrics have also arrived. Visit the store or call 602-301-6987 to update your wardrobe for the new season.

‘I studied men’s fashion at FIT in NYC and designed for Macy’s and Calvin Klein Jeans. Over the past 15 years, I have studied many successful men to fully understand what it takes to be more effective in business. What I have found is it all starts with how you present and feel about yourself. If you need to update your look, improve your image, or find clothes that fit, contact me. I bring my keen eye for fashion and design skills to create the right look for you and your lifestyle. Let me help you take your business to the next level.’

3188 East Indian School Road 602-301-6987 • @qcontrary.mary


S H O P / FA S H I O N / A L LU R E / DW E L L


There’s no time like the present to add another timepiece to your collection, and it doesn’t get much more opulent than Parmigiani Fleurier’s new Tonda Metrographe. Since 1996, Parmigiani has specialized in technically advanced watchmaking, and it shows in the Tonda Metrographe’s design. The self-winding watch is made in-house by engineers, designers and artisans with meticulous care given to each component. Both premium in look and design, it features a handcrafted chronograph movement, a 40-mm rose gold case, a blue dial with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and a dark blue alligator Hermes strap. $29,500 at Parmigiani Fleurier,

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FRAGRANCES FOR THE FELLAS Scents that make a statement

Winter Palace eau de parfum, Memo Paris, $300 at Neiman Marcus, www. Eau de Rhubarbe Ecarlate, Hermes, $175 at Saks Fifth Avenue, www. Mr. Burberry eau de parfum, Burberry, $136 at Saks Fifth Avenue. L’Homme Cologne Bleue, Yves Saint Laurent, $92 at Sephora, www. Spicebomb Night Vision eau de toilette, Viktor&Rolf, $80-$98 at Nordstrom, www.


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Necessities for crafting cocktails at home

Stainless steel sixpiece tool set, $85 at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, www. Monogram fivepiece decanter and glasses set, Cathy’s Concepts, $84 at Nordstrom, www. Jackson bar cart, Barclay Butera $1,799 at Neiman Marcus, www.neimanmarcus. com. Whiskey Cocktails leather-bound recipe book, Graphic Image, $78 at Saks Fifth Avenue, www. Pop art bar cabinet, $4,500 at Jonathan Adler, www. Horn veneer coasters, Ladorada, $149 at Neiman Marcus.

Uptown June ‘19


Style SHOP


BEACH BOUND Summer styles for a day by the water

Short-sleeved linen shirt with aqua floral print, $79.50 at J.Crew, www.jcrew. com. Hat with embroidered waves, Mollusk, $35 at Madewell, www. Round sunglasses, Dior Homme, $450 at Nordstrom, www. Colorblock swim trunks, Gucci, $590 at Neiman Marcus, www.neimanmarcus. com. Black sport slide sandals, Ted Baker London, $80 at Nordstrom. Monogram bum bag, Burberry, $690 at Saks Fifth Avenue, www.saksfifthavenue. com.


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GONE GOLFING Hole-in-one attire to sport on the links

Select Cart golf bag, TaylorMade, $149 at Dick’s Sporting Goods, www. dickssportinggoods. com. Moisture-wicking striped polo, Lacoste, $98 at Nordstrom, Plaid belt, $39.50 at J.Crew, www.jcrew. com. Aqua performance shorts, Peter Millar, $89 at Nordstrom. Pintuck Gallivanter golf shoes, G/ Fore, $225 at Saks Fifth Avenue, www. Golf accessory set, Bey-Berk, $75 at Neiman Marcus, www.

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There is no silver bullet. There is no magic wand. You can’t snap your fingers or wiggle your nose to make it happen. If you want to help kids succeed, it takes a base of operations, and trained professionals, and innovative teaching strategies, and career counseling, and help with math, and fun, and games, and tech, and science, and exercise, and college prep, and mentoring, and hopes, and dreams, and on, and on, and on. It does not take one of these things. It takes all of them. Because when it comes to building great futures for our children, good enough is never enough. We are the Boys & Girls & Tech & Tutoring & STEM & Arts & Music & So Much More Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. We don’t just do one thing. We do whatever it takes.


W H E E L S / H AU T E P R O P E R T Y / P L A C E S / WA N T


This grilling season, there’s no need to bust your chops to get the perfect smoked meat. A great option for cooks of all experience levels, the Sonoma Smart Smoker from Lynx Grills features integrated technology to make smoking more convenient and tastier than ever before. Available in three forms – built-in or countertop, freestanding and on a mobile kitchen cart (pictured) – the setup includes an LCD control panel, an instant-read meat probe, 1,000 square inches of cooking space (enough to cook six baby back ribs at once!), and a wood chip box that can smoke for up to eight hours without being reloaded. Summer relaxation has never been easier with this Wi-Fi- and app-enabled smoker, which automatically adjusts temperature and cook time while allowing the chef to check on his food from anywhere in the house – preferably with a cold one in hand. From $2,969 at Lynx Grills, Uptown June ‘19



2020 JEEP GLADIATOR The auto every dad wants for Father’s Day BY JIM PRUETER

VITAL STATS Base price: $33,545

Twenty-eight years have gone by since there’s been a Jeep-branded pickup, the last being the Comanche, sold from 1986 to 1992. One of the most highly anticipated vehicles to launch in years, the Jeep Gladiator has finally arrived amid renewed interest in midsize pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado, the Toyota Tacoma, and the Ford Ranger. You’d be forgiven for mistaking the Gladiator for a Jeep Wrangler given the familiar seven-slot grille, round headlamps, domed Rubicon hood, flared fenders, and square taillights. The Gladiator shares its front two-thirds with the four-door Wrangler, but sports a 5-foot cargo bed and folddown tailgate in the back. Its best-in-class towing capability and Wrangler-based design instantly differentiate the Gladiator from other midsize pickups. The roof, available in a choice of a hard or soft top, is removable, making the four-door-only Gladiator a convertible and all-wheel drive pickup – something not offered by anyone else. There’s even a fold-down windshield, removable carpeting, and a generous array of grab handles in the cabin. With an interior that mixes utility and modernity, the touch-screen infotainment system comes in 7- and 8.4-inch options.


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The Gladiator is available in four trim levels: Sport, Sport S, Overland, and off-road-focused Rubicon. At launch, all trim levels are powered by Jeep’s familiar 3.6-liter V-6 engine that delivers 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with an eight-speed automatic available for $2,000 more. Jeep provided an Overland model for on-road driving and a Rubicon for off-roading during the test drive. Being a Jeep, it naturally comes with unsurpassed off-road capabilities, enhanced in the Rubicon model with its standard electronic-locking front and rear axles, Fox monotube shocks, skid plates, the ability to ford up to 30 inches of water, a Rock-Trac part-time four-wheel-drive transfer case, and an optional forward-facing camera for added off-road convenience. The new 2020 Jeep Gladiator is everything you’d expect from a Jeep, plus the added convenience of a truck bed. The combination of genuine Wrangler-rugged Rubicon Trail capability, pickup truck utility, and the uniqueness of a convertible truck with removable doors make it a one-of-a-kind vehicle, perfect for both workday commutes and weekend adventures.

Price as tested: $60,125 (Rubicon); $55,980 (Overland) Engine: 3.6-L V-6 Fuel economy: 17/22 mpg city/ highway Seating: 5 Fab features: The only truck that is also a convertible Unsurpassed off-road capability The cool factor of driving a Jeep





The farmhouse style is popping up all over the Valley, especially the Arcadia area. However, there’s something a touch different about this “farmhouse” home. While it is reminiscent of the popular design aesthetic, there’s a touch of modern style that brings an updated take on the farmhouse trend, with a nod to California living. The 5,500-square-foot new build is a collaboration of Vista General, Matthew Thomas Architecture and Jennifer Ferrandi of Arcadia Design Group. Clean lines, stone and woodwork, a fire pit, green grass and newly planted greenery make this home picture-perfect from the outside, but it’s even more epic once inside. Boasting five bedrooms and five bathrooms, each part of the home is filled with warm tones, reclaimed components, rich stone work and top-of-the-line finish quality. The kitchen would make any amateur chef elated. The oversized island, covered from countertop to floor in marble, serves as the focal point of the room. Marble can also be found as a backsplash and a frame to the stove/oven area. The light brown cabinets add a touch of hominess to the space throughout, even covering the refrigerator. There are also two built-ins lined with subway tile with glass doors framing the walk-in pantry. Entertainers will likely focus their attention on the nearby bar. The impressive walk-behind area features built-in glass shelves, a sink, two refrigerators, bar seating and enough storage for any cocktail aficionado. Most of the rooms, including the kitchen and living area, are lined with French doors, allowing a panoramic view of Camelback Mountain as well as the picturesque backyard from practically every room. Additional highlights include modern touches in the bathrooms, three fireplaces throughout, a reading nook, a mudroom area, and a patio off of the master suite. The backyard boasts a pool, fireplace and a built-in barbecue. 4718 E. Arcadia Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85018. Listed for $3,600,000 with Shawna Warner of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. 602.667.8162 or

Uptown June ‘19




Cancun showcases the perfection of the Yucatan Peninsula


Located in southeast Mexico on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Cancun boasts 14 miles of white sand beaches, world-class golf and dining, and nightlife options that rival those of Miami or New York. All of that, combined with the fact that it is a mere four-hour direct flight from Phoenix with temperate weather between 70 and 90 degrees most months, makes it a picture-perfect option for travelers from Arizona virtually any time of the year. But the picture-perfect stay requires the picture-perfect accommodations. Enter Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun.

Accommodations After earning five TripAdvisor honors in 2018 – including Best Luxury Hotel in Mexico – as well as taking home a Travvy Gold Award for Best All-inclusive Luxury Resort and earning a spot in U.S. Travel News Report’s Best Hotels in Mexico, Le Blanc Cancun did the unthinkable: it closed. Then, just last month, after nearly a year of multimillion-dollar renovations, the adults-only, all-inclusive resort reopened, revealing stunning upgrades, even by luxury resort standards. The facelift begins upon entering the grand marble and onyx granite-adorned lobby, where guests are greeted with welcome cocktails and escorted to their rooms or suites. The traditional rooms on the property boast plush upgrades to furnishings and decor as well as butler service, 24-hour room service, Apple TVs with access to Netflix and iTunes, whirlpool tubs, Wi-Fi, purified water, and Bvlgari personal products. All guests can also enjoy several unique menus, including those for specialty pillows, bath salts and aromatherapy. Each room is also outfitted with its own liquor dispensers with brand-name labels of whiskey, rum, tequila and vodka (refilled daily as needed). The suites take extravagance even higher, featuring expansive ocean or lagoon views and ranging in size from 460 to nearly 1,000 square feet. In addition to the aforementioned amenities, suite guests can expect an upgraded personal liquor cabinet; French doors to their own private patios; spa-like double showerheads in the bathroom; espresso machines; and nightly goodies including wine, petits fours and more.

Dining Le Blanc took extra care to ensure longtime guests’ favorite eateries stayed true to their roots, while adding new options to wow taste buds on a nightly basis. New to the resort is an elevated take on authentic Mexican fare called Blanc, which was formerly an international restaurant, as well as a Japanese concept called


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Yama. Michelin-starred chef Giuseppe Iannotti helped develop the new Italian offering on-site, Bella. The decor at Bella – delicate glass art and several chandeliers dripping in crystals – is nearly as elaborate as the multicourse offerings. The most formal restaurant on property is Lumiere, which impresses with nightly tasting menus and wine pairings as well as an inventive cocktail menu.

Activities Speaking of cocktails, all are included with each stay and use topshelf brands ranging from Johnnie Walker red and black labels to Grey Goose, Don Julio and Tanqueray. There are also regular mixology classes several times a week and dozens of wines ranked 80 points or higher available 24 hours a day. For those looking for music and nightlife to accompany their drinks, look no further than Cavo lounge, which has a nightly DJ as well as pool tables and flat-screens. A quieter option would be the renovated BlancSpa, which all guests may use throughout their stays. It features a sauna, a steam room, an ice room (akin to a cold sauna), Jacuzzis, cold and warm lagoons, warm beds, showers, and private dressing rooms. For those wishing to book a spa service, available for an additional charge, the refurbished treatment suites include a master suite with a hydro-tub, seven couples suites, 11 single suites, one suite with a private Vichy shower, and one golden VIP suite tailor-made for groups. Any guest staying at Le Blanc Cancun can indulge in daily golf at the nearby award-winning Moon Spa & Golf Club, as well as transportation to and from the course and club food and drink options. The club features 27 holes of golf as well as the Moon Palace Golf Academy. There, guests can learn the techniques and playing philosophy of Jack Nicklaus under the guidance of certified instructors and with integrated state-of-the-art technology.

Tours For those seeking a little more adventure during their stay, Le Blanc Cancun offers daytrips, snorkeling excursions, sailing and more for added fees. Of particular note is the resort’s Tulum Express tour, which whisks guests off to the archaeological site of a pre-Colombian Mayan walled city. Those seeking something a little more heart-stopping might opt for the Aquatwister, which is the jet boat ride of a lifetime. The boat spins 270 degrees and flies across the water, taking guests through the emerald green Nichupte Lagoon and mangrove channels as well as offering the opportunity to snorkel. There are also half- and full-day open-water snorkel options, including the chance to snorkel at the nearby Isla Mujeres and swim with dolphins. The concierge team can also customize tours to your group’s tastes and offer recommendations for nearby dining and nightlife options, including the audacious Coco Bongo (expect acrobats, bubbles and explosions), the lavish and glamorous Palazzo Cancun, and the often celebrity-filled Dady’O Cancun. For more information, visit



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IT’S THE WHISKEY TALKING “Water of life” for the men in your life

Since the 1490s when it was first developed, whiskey – taken from a Gaelic word meaning “water of life” – has taken many forms: Scotch whisky in Scotland, bourbon whiskey in the American South and simply whiskey (with an “e”) in much of the rest of North America and Ireland. But no matter where it is made or what it is called, this water of life continues to be one of the most popular spirits in the world.

Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey This rich, flavorful whiskey was born of a California bartender’s love for – obviously – whiskey and peanut butter. And though he initially developed it as a shot, its legend grew so fast that he eventually partnered with his wife and friends to develop their own wholly new brand in 2018. $27.99. OHSO J.a.N.E. Whiskey Another flavored whiskey here, but this one from the Valley’s own OHSO, who have been distilling spirits since 2015. The apple-infused option uses green apple extract during the distillation phase, which results in a clean, crisp flavor perfect for spring and summer. $25. Bulleit 10 Year Bourbon This award-winning bourbon whiskey is owner Tom Bulleit’s personally selected reserve varietal. It is aged in charred American white oak barrels that were set aside to age for 10 years. The result is a special expression of Bulleit that provides a rich, deep, incredibly smooth sipping experience. $35. Adventure Stills Peralta Bourbon Adventurous Stills makes every product by hand in its custom fabricated stills located in Tempe. This silver medalist in the 2018 San Francisco International Spirits Competition is made in new, charred American oak barrels and tastes of caramel, baked apples, vanilla and spice. $45. Crown Royal 13-Year-Old Blenders’ Mash Whisky This limited-edition product is aged for 13 years, resulting in aromas of apple and buttery toffee on the nose followed by creamy vanilla, toasted spices and dried orchard fruits on the palate. It finishes with a hint of toasted caramel. $60. Ardbeg Drum Scotch Whisky A woody, fragrant limited edition, the whisky is aged in ex-bourbon barrels and then rests in ex-rum barrels resulting in an explosion of flavor. Expect everything from pine and sea spray to ripe bananas and pineapple in every sip. The finish has notes of smoke and honey that are a delightful surprise. $110. Glenmorangie Allta This stunner is the 10th release in the brand’s award-winning Private Edition Series. Marrying biscuit notes with hints of baking bread, mandarin orange and butter candy, the uniquely fruity whisky will delight Scotch whisky aficionados most of all. $130. Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Pig A limited-edition version of Johnnie Walker Blue Label designed by English illustrator Chrissy Lau, this expression is a masterpiece. It boasts a velvety combination of vanilla, honey and rose petals and then finished with notes of hazelnut, sherry and dark chocolate. $250.


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Ocotillo Restaurant has been making headlines for its inventive, daring new American seasonal cuisine with fresh ingredients since opening in 2016. Executive chef Walt Sterling himself has also earned acclaim for his ability to bring both something familiar and innovative to every dish. Case in point: the Roasted Bone Marrow ($14). To make, Sterling starts by soaking bone marrow in a salty brine before roasting on the grill bone-side down and then popping in the oven until slightly browned. He then ladles on a chimichurri sauce made of jalapenos, olive oil, garlic and lemon zest, which balances the marrow’s rich buttery flavor with spicy acidity. It’s paired with a shallot salad and sweet, tart onion marmalade made with Maui sweet onions, as well as grilled sourdough for dunking. Ocotillo, 3243 N. 3rd St., Phoenix; 602.687.9080; Uptown June ‘19




The Little Woody’s Dark and Mustachioed is a “rum”–derfully balance of sweet and sour


There are hidden gems, and then there are hidden gems. Arcadia’s The Little Woody – housed in a signless, nondescript maroon building next to Camelback Flower Shop on Indian School and 42nd Street – is both. “Other than a little owl in the window, you would never know we were here, unless someone told you,” says general manager Eric Massey, noting their business is almost entirely word of mouth. Lucky for The Little Woody, its cocktail program combined with its dark-yet-welcoming, cabin-like ambiance, always has people talking. Among its most popular cocktails is the Dark and Mustachioed ($10). “Guests always ask about the name,” Massey says. “It’s a two-part answer. First, it is a riff on the classic Dark and Stormy rum cocktail. Second, local mixology legend Travis Nass – known for his handlebar mustache – helped us dream it up, so we wanted to show him some love as well.” It starts with Don Q Anejo Rum, known for its rich texture and cognac-like finish with hints of oak and vanilla, in a shaker with ice. Velvet Falernum, a sweet liqueur often used in Caribbean-inspired cocktails, is then added. “Next, we add a ginger puree that we make in-house as well as fresh lime juice to the mix,” says Massey, who then shakes and strains it into a Collins glass with ice. “We top it with a float of Angostura Bitters to balance out the sweetness and add one last tart punch.” It’s garnished with mint and a Luxardo cherry and then served with a mustache straw, tailor-made for photo opps. The Little Woody, located at 4228 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602.955.0339;


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In the kitchen with chef Alex Robinson of T. Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort and Spa In April 2019, Alex Robinson was named executive chef of T. Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort and Spa, bringing with him an exciting take on Mediterranean cuisine that combines his California sensibility with French techniques.


At just 33, you already have quite the resume! I’ve been lucky enough to work in some of the country’s best five-star resort kitchens, including The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, The Ritz-Carlton Chicago; Four Season Resort Jackson Hole, Four Seasons Hotel Denver, Four Seasons Hotel Boston and Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. What inspired you to get into the kitchen in the first place? My dad, a jack of all trades and master of none, loved playing around in kitchen and making things from scratch. He certainly inspired me. So much so, at 14 I started working as a dishwasher in a mom and pop restaurant. By 17, I was running it. After high school, I attended Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, graduating in 2005, and it was off to the races after that. What is your vision for T. Cook’s moving forward? I want to push the boundaries and create inspired dishes where every element on the plate, even the garnish, is interesting, compelling and exceptional. T. Cook’s was always meant to be a neighborhood restaurant, not just for special occasions, and with every visit, I want to compel guests to come back and explore even more of the menu. What are some of your favorite ingredients to cook with in the summer? Being from Southern California, I love Hass avocados all year long, but especially in the summer, as well as Harry’s Berries, which I brought to the resort from California as well. I’m also really excited to work with fresh seafood, fiddlehead ferns and stone fruit all summer long. What is something readers would be surprised to know about you? My jack of all trades dad was also a drummer – he almost played for the Beach Boys, in fact – so he had me drumming by age 2. I still play the drums, as well as the guitar. Oh, I was also a skateboarder, with sponsors and all, when I was in my teens. T. Cooks, 5200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.808.0766;

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RED-HOT RED MEAT Succulent steak dishes for carne-lovers


Chateaubriand for Two

The Stockyards Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, The Stockyards was Arizona’s first steakhouse, and is still one of the best. This 16-ounce center cut tenderloin, which is served with bearnaise sauce, whiskey peppercorn sauce, and creamed horseradish as well as whipped potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and seasonal vegetables, is among the secrets to its long-standing success. $120.

Grilled Prime Filet Mignon

Different Pointe of View This melt-in-your mouth filet is a little bit crusty – and that’s a good thing. It’s actually crusted, to be more specific, with heavenly Point Reyes blue cheese, which accentuates the flavor of the meat while also adding dimension and balance. The dish also features roasted fingerling potatoes, a mushroom and pancetta ragout, caramelized shallots and a savory Perigord truffle demi-glace for the ultimate in indulgence. $47.

18-Ounce Bone-In Kansas City Strip

Steak 44 Each of Steak 44’s steaks are cut in-house daily by a master butcher using USDA Prime grade beef and the highest grade Domestic Wagyu. This juicy cut – which can easily be shared – comes from the tenderest section of beef: the short loin. Everything from a fried egg to fois gras can also be added on top for an additional charge. $62.

Arizona Cowboy Steak

Want to know the secret to a perfect steak? It’s starts with the meat. When chefs source the highest-grade cuts of meat from near and far, very little needs be done to season or flavor them — except the occasional side of bearnaise sauce or a lump Jonah crab topper, of course. With that in mind, here are some of the best cuts of steak you’ll taste in Phoenix.


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Phoenix City Grille This bone-in ribeye is simply grilled before being paired with freshly made salsa fresca as well as a spicy queso fresco, which is a melty cheese sauce. It is also accompanied by a pork and pinto bean chili, which many also use to top the hearty portion. $39.

Porterhouse Steak

Durant’s At 48 ounces, this 3-inch head-turner is legitimately a weeks’ worth of meat! Rich and buttery, those who dare finish on their own are inducted to Durant’s “Porterhouse Club,” which began more than 20 years ago. Members earn an engraved brass plate, which is then hung in the famous steakhouse along with fellow members who’ve completed the challenge. $114.95.

Char Crusted Filet Mignon

Keegans Grill The tender filet with a deep char is topped with both maitre‘d butter, which is a rich compound butter made with butter, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper, as well as a crust of gorgonzola for the ultimate in indulgence. It is served with cheddar-infused potatoes and seasonal vegetables. $25.45.

Petite Filet Mignon

Province Urban Kitchen + Bar There is nothing petite about the flavor in this filet! It is grilled using mesquite to elicit a very Southwestern char and served with a roasted tomato broth that brings out every savory element in the dish. Additionally paired with a cauliflower fritter, poblano-infused relish, organic mushrooms and cotija cheese, it is one of the most unique takes on steak in the Valley. $36.

30-Ounce Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye Dry Aged New York Strip Au Poivre

The Capital Grill This 14-ounce steak is on the spicier side as it is prepared au poivre style using a generous amount of usually coarsely ground black pepper, which is a traditional French preparation. Capital Grill’s take is topped with a cream sauce made using butter, shallots and actual Courvoisier cognac. $49.

Niman Ranch Sirloin

Blue Hound Kitchen + Cocktails The 8-ounce Certified Angus beef cut is dry aged for 40 days. It results in exponentially more tenderness as well as enhanced flavor due to the enzyme breakdown that happens during the process. It comes with the guest’s choice of sauce: charred chimichurri, brown butter bearnaise or a barrel-aged house sauce. $35.

J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician Perfectly seared inside a 1,100-degree combination grill and oven, this wagyu rib-eye steak is served while still sizzling atop a heated salt block that’s dramatically wheeled to the table and carved-to-order tableside. $130. www.

Steak & Sprouts

The VIG This hearty signature dish features a combination of meat and vegetables with a juicy flat iron steak accompanied with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Its toppings make the dish even richer: crispy onions, herb butter and demi-glaze. $22.

Center-Cut Tenderloin Filet

Tarbell’s While several dishes on the Iron Chef winner’s menu change seasonally, this dish is so popular, it remains all year long. The perfectly cut filet is topped with lump Jonah crab, which is more sought-after than lobster, to add to the experience, and then it is paired with haricot vert, buttermilk mashed potatoes and a velvety demi-glace for the ultimate in elevated comfort food. $68.

18 Hour Long Bone Shortrib

Lincoln, a JW Steakhouse This 22-ounce cut of natural beef is braised at 160 degrees for 18 hours and then warmed in a rich, flavorful broth that is cooked down twice. It is served on the long bone with a pine nut gremolata with fresh herbs and garlic as well as a final drizzle of the broth. $32. www.

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Childsplay supporters gathered at Warehouse 215 @ Bentley Projects for a party featuring a silent auction, hosted bar, dinner and entertainment. Proceeds went toward Childsplay’s arts education programs in schools.

Susan Goldsmith and Sarah Sullivan


Ronda Fisk

Lisa Coulter and Norma Coulter

Jill Bray and Leslie Stackpole

Diana Fisher and Judy Kline

Jannine Doto and Erin Goodman

Jenny Millinger and Julie Coleman

Dottie Hunter and Mary Borland

Samantha Johnstone and Wendy Cardiff

Katie Badrick


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Jody Weiss and Brenda Young

Billy Jo Herberger and Shelley Cohn

Stacie Delbiaggio and Svetlana Migova

Allie Brenner

Joanie Flat and Savanna Thompson

Malia Dunn and Celina Dozier




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Arizona Legacy Circle of Maricopa Health Foundation hosted this annual event at Phoenix Art Museum. The evening celebrated both patient and employee heroes at Maricopa Integrated Health System.

Greg Vogel and Erin Dixon


Stacy Wilson and Neal Thomas

Flavia Campbell and Oscar De Las Salas

Abran Villegas and Alicia Nunez

Dorene Dominguez and Norma Darraz

Derek Boehm and Lauren Vargas

Rod and Jill Riley

Evo Terra and Shawn Harrell

Jodi and Bob Smith

Kristin and Jon Bright


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Held at Parsons Center for Health & Wellness, this fundraising gala generated energy and raised awareness and funds for Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS.


Michael Gardner

Adam Michael and Santiago Teran

Zath Little

Derick Lavelle and Peter Rodriguez

Dino Seifert and Larry Incontro

Find Your Flavor 44TH + INDIAN SCHOOL

EATDOUGHBIRD | 602.345.9161

Uptown June ‘19



BREWING HISTORY Walter Station opens in an old Phoenix firehouse


The Valley’s latest brewery – Walter Station – has a 1963 truck to thank for its existence. Nicknamed “Walter” as it was made by the now-defunct Walter Motor Truck Company, the truck was formerly used by Luke Air Force Base and then the New River Fire Department. Originally equipped with a powerful water cannon and flame-retardant foam, Walter was used to battle actual fires for decades. Eventually, Walter was retired in Jerome near the Gold King Mine, which hosted a VW bus-themed jamboree annually. “At my first of these events, I ‘met’ Walter,” jokes Kirk Strawn. “My wife, Mary, and I took ownership of Walter and transformed him into a replica of a VW bus, but the largest anyone had ever seen.” The bus would eventually be used to start a business, but not the brewery just yet. In 2009, they opened Walter Productions, a first-of-its-kind event productions and flame effects company using Walter and fellow oversized vans and trucks. So, how does this connect to Walter Station? “Phoenix Fire Station #29 opened in 1966 and remained open up to 2008,


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when Station 29 moved into their new home adjacent to Sky Harbor Airport,” says Walter Station co-owner, head brewer and general manager James Erickson, whose wife, Jennifer is Walter Productions’ CEO. Walter Productions initially invested in the space as a new company headquarters, but the craft beer fans soon partnered with Erickson, a home brewer, in 2016 to set the wheels in motion for the brewery. “Named for Walter and to honor the fire station, phase one of the 5,200-squarefoot space – the actual brewery and a small area for guests – is now open, and we are all systems go on phase two, which includes finalizing the buildout and adding more guest space by summer’s end,” Erickson says. Erickson also notes that as part of the initial and phase two construction, they took steps to be conscious of their environmental footprint, installing a water run-off drain that returns rain water back to the aquifer as well as installing a nan-filtration system, which uses far less water than traditional reverse osmosis. Currently, there are more than a dozen beers on tap as well as a full food menu, a large patio and a space to host events. Among the summer beer offerings are: Baja Girl Blond, an American blonde ale named in honor of Jennifer, a former owner of Baja Motorsports; Grapefruit Warrior, a combination American IPA and fruit beer with both a hoppy bitterness and zest; and Just Be Nice, an American amber named in honor of Mary. The food menu, co-managed with the team behind Saffron Jak, features a mix of traditional (think margarita) and out-of-the-box (including one with lamb) pizzas as well as sandwiches, salads and elevated pub fare. Walter Station is open Mon. through Thurs. 3-8 p.m., Fri. 3-11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.11 p.m., and Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 4056 E. Washington St., Phoenix; 602.368.8402;

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Uptown Magazine June 2019

Uptown Magazine June 2019