Colorful Scottsdale Asian eatery Wok ‘N Roll has opened a second location in Central Phoenix, delivering its creative mix of Chinese, Sushi and Sports along with refreshing cocktails, classic rock and flamboyant memorabilia.
Founder and CEO Scott Stuart, a longtime media executive-turned-restaurateur, opened the first Wok ‘N Roll in June 2018, at what he calls “the gateway to Old Town Scottsdale” at Miller and Camelback. The concept grew in success. Now, successfully coming out of a year challenged by COVID-19, a new Phoenix location has been added and open at the southeast corner of Central and Thomas, 2801 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004.
“Wok ‘N Roll combines two of my passions: great Asian food and classic rock ‘n roll. When we decided to open in Scottsdale, the name was a natural. We serve delicious sushi and Chinese favorites and put a smile on our customers’ faces with a bit of edgy irreverence.
“Wok ‘N Roll appeals to boomers AND the younger crowds who grew up hearing their parents’ brand of rock music played over the years. It’s a fun, welcoming atmosphere and rewarding for us because we appeal to a wide range of patrons. We’re very excited to bring our concept to Central Phoenix.”
Stuart, an accountant by profession, in part credits his hyper work ethic to his youth working at McDonald’s and even attending the global brand’s “Hamburger University.” After college, he landed on Wall Street and then on to national and local radio companies on both coasts, including Phoenix. It was the golden era of radio, rolling out all the latest and greatest rock hits, and Stuart created countless marketing programs to promote his restaurant advertisers.
He grew to love the restaurant business and eventually combined his love of music and restaurants, opening his first: O’Mally’s Sports, Spirits & Grill in Phoenix. It was a hit. Some years later, he stepped out of the business to raise his daughter. Then in 2018, he was back and bought the former J’s Kaiyo Sushi in Scottsdale, changing the concept and adding the new name Wok ‘N Roll. Business was terrific, then COVID-19 hit. But his radio promotion experience also kicked in.
Says Stuart: “Last year, when we were allowed to offer take-out only, I’d DJ on the patio in Scottsdale. People gathered in the parking lot. Then I did pig roasts for fans to recall the scents of our kitchen. More people gathered. As a result, when we were able to increase occupancy, we came out of COVID strong.”
Sushi and Asian-style cuisine, he surmises, are not typically prepared at home and so the demand is there to build business one customer at a time.
Wok ‘N Roll delivers a fun casual dining experience including build-your-own noodle or rice bowls, traditional Chinese favorites and sushi, along with an eclectic list of starters such as pot stickers, Big Eye Tuna Poke, Chicken Wings or a Cucumber Salad. Not to be outdone by the great food, handcrafted cocktails double as conversation starters, for example, 2 Tickets 2 Paradise” is Absolut Mandarin, Aperol, and “Wok ‘N Roll White Ale;” Smokin’ in the Boys Room boasts as a Rosemary Smoke Infused cocktail featuring Japanese Suntory Toki Whisky with Lillet Blanc and Domine De Canton Ginger Liqueur; and a Bohemian Rhapsody begins with Ginger Vodka, Blood Orange Liqueur, Lemon Juice, Lemongrass Syrup and Club Soda. Not to miss is the Sake, and a premium boutique collection of beers and wines.
The new location comes in at 4,000 square-feet compared to the 2,700 square feet in Scottsdale. The new Phoenix spot is furnished with red and black booths, crystal chandeliers that change color, rock ‘n roll memorabilia and snippets of classic rock lyrics emblazoned on grey/green-hued walls. Dining guests are presented their final bills on classic 8 Tracks.
Wok ‘N Roll Nights. Follow along on social: Facebook @woknrollaz; Instagram @woknrollchinesebar for a rotating schedule of fun such as Reverse Happy Hour, Karaoke, Bingo nights and MORE!