Attractive servers, a nice variety of beers, overpriced parking – Bottled Blonde is another Scottsdale sports bar in a sea of sports bars.
While there isn’t much that makes Bottled Blonde stand out, it’s clean, comfortable and convenient.
The owners have remodeled the once bland Axis-Radius club into a welcoming pizza and beer joint. There is a classy fireplace that runs the length of the building on the west side, with touches of metal and concrete throughout the décor and plenty of lounge-style sofas for seating. My only issue was the sheer number of TVs packed into such a small space, catapulting the already loud restaurant into the nearly ear-bleeding range that is so common to these types of establishments.
The food was decent. Diners will enjoy the salads and pizzas, made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. I particularly enjoyed the variety of cheese toppings, which including gouda, fontina and mahón. My favorite was the “Salsiccia” (score one for the pickled onions).
And what goes better with pizza than beer? It was refreshing to see many local brews on tap, including Four Peaks Kilt Lifter, SanTan HefeWeizen and Papago Orange Blossom Ale. Bottled Blonde, the company’s namesake, was – ironically – also available on tap.
Although this reviewer did not try them herself, there were also several seemingly tasty cocktails with names like the “Blonde Manhattan” and “Mediterranean Mule.” I also saw a house-made limoncello on the menu. I may have to go back and see if that drink lives up to expectations.
Although the restaurant was overcrowded on opening night, security and wait staff were extremely polite and friendly. I especially loved the waitress outfits: Tight red pants, off-the-shoulder shirts and a flower in the hair. The look seemed a little too elegant for a beer garden, but eye candy is always appreciated, especially when accompanied by quick service and a smile.
While the “beer garden” aspect does not much resemble any of the beer gardens I went to while in Berlin, I do enjoy the open-air concept, especially this time of year when the weather is perfect for enjoying a drink with friends under the stars. I predict that will be a huge draw to the restaurant over the next few months, at least until the blistering heat returns and forces patrons to find an air-conditioned watering hole.
When 9,000 restaurants fail each year, you have to ask: Why is Bottled Blonde trying so hard to be like every other sports bar? Maybe the answer to that question will change this fall, with the opening of Livewire, the live music venue under construction next door. When you’re looking for a quick bite to eat before a concert at Livewire, Bottled Blonde is nearby and not terrible, but it still has a way to go to truly stand out from the crowd.