Tag Archives: live entertainment

shops at esplanade

2 new restaurants opening at Esplanade

Cushman & Wakefield today announced the opening of two new restaurants at The Shops at Esplanade, located on the southeast corner of Camelback Road and 24th Street.  The new tenants are part of Esplanade owner, MetLife, and Cushman & Wakefield’s efforts to revitalize the property’s retail presence.

“We have worked diligently with MetLife to attract an exciting and successful blend of restaurants and retailers at the property that will suit this market,” said Jon Cowen, Senior Director at Cushman & Wakefield.  “The Camelback Corridor provides a fabulous market opportunity for the correct tenants and we’re pleased that ownership’s plan is coming to fruition.”

Pearl Live!, a Scottsdale–based company, will open a sushi restaurant with live entertainment.  Pearl Live! at the Esplanade will be the second sushi/entertainment concept for renowned restaurateur, Jimmy Carlin.  The Esplanade location will feature a large, outdoor patio, an indoor/outdoor bar, and live music.  Situated directly across from the Ritz Carlton, the space was previously occupied by Morton’s Steakhouse. Mr. Carlin plans to cater to the business lunch and happy hour crowds, but also provide an upscale venue at night.  Bob Tam, former corporate chef for PF Chang’s and current Director of Culinary Operations for Maven Hospitality Group (who recently opened The Strand Urban Italian in downtown Phoenix), will be responsible for the creation of Pearl Live!’s menu.  The approximate 7,977 square foot sushi restaurant is slated to open in May.

Solo Trattoria, a new concept from Chicago-based Gemstone Café Group, plans to open their doors at the Esplanade in mid February.  Brittany Harrison of Catalyst Commercial represented the tenant in this transaction, bringing the company’s first location to Arizona.  The Modern Italian restaurant leased approximately 2,555 square feet of space which was previously occupied by Picazzo’s Pizza.  Solo Trattoria, with its cozy and inviting ambiance, will feature fresh tasting Italian food, including Naples style thin crust pizza, authentic pastas, imported cheeses, and wine and beer.

Jon Cowen and Summer Jackson of Cushman & Wakefield serve as exclusive leasing agents for the Shops at Esplanade, while Larry Downey, Jerry Jacobs, and Michael Crystal lease the available office space for property owner MetLife.

restaurant - Iguana Mack's updated look

Chandler Neighborhood Roadhouse Revamps Restaurant

After 10 years in the restaurant business, Iguana Macks is getting a facelift. Under new ownership, the Chandler roadhouse plans to keep its rustic yet casual appeal while enhancing the menu, décor and entertainment.

Iguana Macks is an American neighborhood bar and grill located next to Dos Gringos in Chandler. The restaurant opened its doors in 2002 by local entrepreneur Michael Lopercio. Over the years, Iguana Macks established itself as a local independent “mom-and-pop” restaurant and prides itself on the personal relationships with its customers. In January 2012, Iguana Mack’s was purchased by a new team of restaurant and bar experts.

“Our goal is to continue the long term neighborhood roadhouse feel, while at the same time, bringing in a breath of fresh air,” said Randy Feldman, one of the owners. “In three short months, we have remodeled the interior, designed a new menu bringing back some of the original Iguana Mack’s favorites, creating some special events for our guests and built a team of individuals that are excited and motivated to be a part of something amazing.”

Iguana Macks has enhanced visual aspects of the restaurants including new wood flooring, custom designed light fixtures, and indoor and outdoor seating that make the restaurant more welcoming to its patrons.  Servers and staff are letting its guests know that “Mack’s Back” by sporting it on their newly designed t-shirt uniforms. Business professionals, local residents and visitors can truly enjoy Iguana Mack’s signature roadhouse entrees and sides knowing that they are all made from scratch every day.

When you walk into the eatery, diners have the option to eat in the 150-seat dining room that looks and feels like home. An Arizona themed banquet room is offered to larger parties looking for a private dining experience. The indoor and outdoor bar is also a great place to enjoy an appetizing meal along with daily drink specials. With more than 18 flat-screen TVs, a pool table, and juke box, Iguana Macks offers the perfect atmosphere to watch sporting events, play your favorite tunes and catch up with friends and coworkers. Guest also can relax and listen to live entertainment by local musicians every week and happy hour specials weekdays from 2pm to 7pm. For dog lovers, enjoy the company of your companion on Iguana Mack’s dog-friendly patio.

For more information, menus, happy hour specials, hours and location, visit www.iguanamacks.com or call 480.899.6735. Iguana Macks is located at 1371 N Alma School Road in Chandler. Follow Iguana Macks on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IguanaMacks.

Bobby's Restaurant

Bobby’s Restaurant And Jazz Lounge: A Happy Hour Hot Spot

It’s always a challenge to stay motivated at work the week after the holidays. The cure: mid-week happy hour! To help me through my hump-day blues, I joined a friend at Bobby’s Restaurant and Jazz Lounge at Kierland Commons for a drink and a few appetizers.

At first thought, the perception of Bobby’s would be that it would be a bit pricey for a quick drink after work. However, its happy hour menu offers a great variety of food with even better pricing.

Available only in the lounge, the appetizers range from $3.50 to $8, and cocktails start at $4. In addition to the food and spirits, there is also live entertainment every night of the week.

When I entered into the restaurant and headed up the ornate staircase, I was slightly concerned that I was underdressed, but I was wrong. Once I entered the lounge, I immediately felt like I was in a local jazz bar — but with much better décor. The service was friendly and prompt; the lounge was almost full, and the live jazz music was about to start.

We surveyed the menu and decided on the following:

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Bobby's Restaurant: Kalamata Olive HummusServed with cucumbers and gluten-free rice and seed crackers, the portion was large, and the hummus had just the right amount of kalamata to make it unique. However, the rice and seed crackers had such a strong flavor that it almost overpowered the taste of the hummus. When we received the bread served with the dinner, I was able to enjoy the hummus with the more mild bread. I would order it again but ask for a different choice of cracker.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Served with a light tomato sauce, tomatoes, butter, parmesan and sage, this appetizer is amazing. The mix of the squash and sage was more unique than any butternut squash recipe I have tasted. I would order this dish over and over.


Bobby's Restaurant: BruschettaBobby’s version is served with a large portion of diced tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and Italian bread. Like all of the other dishes, the bruschetta portion was large enough to share with more than two people. The tomatoes were full of flavor, and the basil was fresh. The bread was drizzled with just enough balsamic to compliment the rest of the ingredients. Although it was a simple dish, it was done well.

Mac and Cheese

I wanted to sample something more traditional and ordered mac and cheese — my trusty comfort food of choice. It was what you would expect in a mac and cheese dish. It had a great, sharp cheese flavor and was served with spiral pasta. It was a great accompaniment to the rest of our order.

From start to finish, Bobby’s was a great choice for happy hour. It is a perfect location to start off a date or meet your significant other after work. The elegant décor and live music gave it a classy feel without going overboard. The bartenders are friendly, and the service was great. Aside from their weekly happy hour, they also do a Ladies Night every Tuesday in the lounge offering discounted cocktails.

If you need a little mid-week fun, Bobby’s could be the right spot for your next outing.

Bobby’s rating:

Food: 5 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5

If You Go: Bobby’s Restaurant and Jazz Lounge

7122 E. Greenway Parkway
Kierland Commons
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254
(480) 556-0770

Fiesta Bowl Block Party in Tempe, AZ

The 27th Annual Fiesta Bowl Block Party in Tempe, AZ

Mill Avenue District in Tempe, Arizona.

Photo Credit: Flickr, planetc1

This year’s Fiesta Bowl Block Party is all about new traditions, new additions, and celebrating the New Year.

This year marks the 27th Annual Fiesta Bowl Block Party, Arizona’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration. Attendees can expect to see headlining band Jimmy Eat World and opening band The Maine take the main stage, university bands marching through downtown, nonstop entertainment, the two fireworks displays kicking off 2011 and much more.

More than 100,000 locals and visiting college football fanatics annually attend the Fiesta Bowl Block Party, a family friendly event.

Because the Block Party had to relocate last year to the Mill Avenue District between Rio Salado and University, Rich Ripley, Fiesta Bowl Block Party’s event coordinator, said the relocation hasn’t and won’t hinder the success of the Block Party.

In fact, the relocation of the event has allowed them to put entertainment on every corner in downtown Tempe, and the light rail provides easy access to the Block Party.

Mill Ave. Bridge in Tempe, AZ.

Photo Credit: Flickr, twak

So what was the real challenge this year, according to Ripley?

“Our challenge every year is how to keep the event fresh for the people that attend,” Ripley said. “Some of the new things this year are a stage for Scandelesque, an outdoor sports club, [and] the video dance display. We also keep old favorites that people love like Dueling Pianos and the Craig Davis Magic Show.”

The multimedia displays are a new addition to the Block Party this year. They will add a sound and light experience never seen before.

“We have basically taken a dance club and put it into the middle of an intersection,” Ripley said. “We have had [it] at the Block Party for 7 or 8 years.  We decided to move it to the Center of the Party and make it fun for everyone who attends.”

As for a new tradition added to the event, it started last year – the confetti blast at midnight.

“Our midnight tradition now is our confetti blast with the fireworks in the sky,” Ripley said. “People love it and we have made it a tradition. It is quite amazing to be in the middle of that.”

27th Annual Fiesta Bowl Block Party:
December 31, 2010
5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Please visit Fiesta Bowl Block Party’s website for more information.