Food & Drink News

Post image for July 14-15: Sunna’s Nektar pre-sale at SunUp Brewing in Phoenix

SunUp Brewing in Phoenix celebrates its 16th anniversary Aug. 18-20 with the release of a one-time, limited-run braggot – a type of mead made with both honey and barley malt– called Sunna’s Nektar.

The braggot, which has an ABV of 17%, has been aged for nearly two years in bourbon barrels. Aromas include honey, raisin, caramel, vanilla, maple, and marshmallow.

This Friday, July 14, the Camelback brewpub will hold a pre-sale event: 48 bombers of Sunna’s Nektar will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis when doors open at 11 a.m.

The sale will continue Saturday if any bottles remain.

There’ll be a limit of two bottles per person, but the bottles will be sold at a 10% discount off the regular $75 price. Sunna’s Nektar won’t be available again until SunUp’s anniversary weekend.

SunUp launched in 2001 as Sonora Brewhouse. It changed its name to SunUp in 2009.

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Post image for Old Town Scottsdale’s Cowboy Ciao, Kazimierz file for bankruptcy but still open

Cowboy Ciao and neighboring Kazimierz World Wine Bar – two mainstays of the Old Town Scottsdale restaurant and nightlife scene for more than a decade – have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Owner Peter Kasperski (pictured) blamed the filings on penalty fines from a previous bankruptcy filing.

‘‘We only want to revisit the penalties to see if they can be spread out to a more manageable schedule,” he tells the Business Journal.

Both businesses remain open.

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Post image for Yoli’s Cafe in downtown Chandler sold, will close for several weeks of renovations

Chef Yolanda “Yoli” Fernandez and husband Rick Scott have sold Yoli’s Cafe, their award-winning breakfast and lunch eatery in downtown Chandler.

The cafe will close Saturday to begin renovations. The couple, who regularly closed in July for a monthlong sabbatical, made the announcement on Facebook today:

We have loved our little cafe for over 6 yrs and have achieved greatness by winning numerous awards for our food and service. Health, family, and living life to the fullest are on the agenda for Yoli and Rick. We will deeply miss our regular customers to whom we consider family.

Fernandez plans to continue cooking with personal chef events and small private caterings.

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Yoli’s new owners are downtown Chandler entrepreneurs Peter and Sigrid Sciacca, probably best known for their longtime glassware store Di Sciacca Glass Gallery.

The business, which supplies glasseware to several major Valley restaurants, moved to online-only last year. The Sciaccas sold its Boston Street building to restaurateur Sasha Cosic, who opened VB Lounge in December.

The Sciaccas currently are in negotiations with a group to lease and operate Yoli’s.

The renovation work will include the addition of misters and heaters, re-flooring the interior, and painting.

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Plans also include some minor changes to the menu, such as adding mimosas and Bloody Marys.

‘‘The tenant is looking to rehire some employees as well,’’ Peter Sciacca says. ‘‘We know this is one of Chandler’s favorite ‘hidden gems.’’’

Look for the re-launch of Yoli’s Cafe in late August or early September.

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Post image for Pita Jungle’s Queen Creek opening pushed back to July 17

Queen Creek residents will have to wait a little longer for their Pita Jungle.

The locally based chain of Mediterranean restaurants had been scheduled to open its 16th Valley location Monday near the Harkins Theatres at Ellsworth Loop and Rittenhouse.

Now, the opening has been pushed back to Monday, July 17. An official grand-opening celebration is planned for mid-August.

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Congrats to Mirza ‘‘The Snowman’’ Selmic, who woofed down two large cheese pizzas in 14 minutes, 25 seconds to win the 17th annual charity pizza-eating contest Sunday at Flancer’s in Mesa.

The Phoenix resident, who finished a close second in the 2014 contest, won $250 and was crowned by Miss Arizona Katelyn Niemiec and Miss Teen Arizona Elan Morris.

The contest wraps up Flancer’s annual fundraisers for Warfighter Sports, Sunshine Acres Children’s home, and Jewish Family & Children’s Services. The three charities received $30,000.

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Flancer’s seeks contestants for pizza-eating contest

BY Jess Harter Friday, February 24, 2017

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Flancer’s in Gilbert has issued an open call for contestants for its April 9 charity pizza-eating contest, an annual fundraiser for Warfighter Sports, Sunshine Acres, and Jewish Family Children Services. There typically are a few serious contestants (first prize is $250), but most compete for fun. Info: 480-396-0077.

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Post image for Here’s your chance to buy Minder Binders in Tempe (if you have $4.95 million)

Tempe landmark Minder Binders, which reopened in 2014 after sitting vacant for nine years, is up for sale again. The asking price? $4.95 million.

The iconic two-story red barn on the northeast corner of McClintock and University was a popular nightlife destination for three decades before abruptly closing in 2005.

The building eventually was bought by the owners of San Tan Flat in Queen Creek and, after two years of extensive renovations, reopened as The Mission @ Minder Binder. (It later was renamed yet again as San Tan Flat @ Minder Binder.)

The exterior was completely changed to a Santa Fe-style motif, but the interior features a careful and faithful restoration of its city-themed wood booths and eclectic memorabilia decorating the walls and ceiling.

Prime Dine Brokers has the details on the sales listing here.

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Former Valley chef William Bradley, now heading Addison at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, gets some major love from the New York Times’ T Magazine this week in a glowing profile headlined ‘‘This is a Chef’s Chef.’’

This is cooking worthy of celebrity, but Bradley — a San Diego native from a blue-collar family, who began working in professional kitchens at 17 and came to Addison from a luxury resort in Arizona — is what you might call a chef’s chef, contented simply to cook to the best of his ability for guests he knows will appreciate it. He has little interest in producing glossy cookbooks or appearing on food TV, which he feels has removed some of his profession’s mystique. Not to mention competitions: “I don’t like to see people lose,” he says. “This business is hard enough as it is.” His is an old-fashioned brand of luxury, marked by an unabashed embrace of traditional fine dining and a rejection of trends.

Bradley worked as sous chef at The Phoenician’s Mary Elaine’s in the early 2000s before becoming executive chef at Vu at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, where he was nominated for the James Beard “Rising Star Chef” award three years in a row.

In 2006, he returned to his hometown to helm Addison, which became the only San Diego restaurant to earn both Forbes (formerly Mobil) Five Star and AAA Five Diamond awards.

Read the entire Times profile here.

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Last week, equipment failures forced JC’s Steakhouse in Gilbert to postpone its monthly beer dinner.

Unfortunately, repairs are more extensive and taking longer to complete than expected.

As a result, the restaurant has canceled the August beer dinner. The next one will be held Wednesday, Sept. 28.

JC’s also is suspending its popular Sunday brunch for the next three Sundays while repairs are completed.

The restaurant will remain open for dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays.

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I stopped by Brooklyn V’s Pizza in Gilbert today to check out its expansion work. The restaurant, located on the northeast corner of Lindsay and Warner, is building an addition over its former patio to create capacity for another 30 or diners.

Since opening in late 2013, Brooklyn V’s has become a favorite of neighborhood residents and Big Apple expatriates alike, drawing large crowds on weekends for its popular live music performances.

Because the new space will be separated from the current dining room by a glass wall and door, it’ll also make a great venue for meetings, as well as birthday, anniversary, and graduation parties.

Look for the new addition to be ready in early September.

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