by: Amanda Savage
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row will open Thursday, July 4, in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. The new bar promises a festive “old school country flare with a Scottsdale twist” environment along with innovations in hospitality and service.
The 5,200 sq. ft bar will feature a 400 sq. ft stage, a massive 24 ft. TV and will host international and local country artists weekly. AFM spoke with Ryan Hibbert of Riot Hospitality Group, one of the many men behind the project, about opening night, their self serve beer an liquor taps, and why “this time you really will Love This Bar!”
AFM: So you guys are opening on July 4th! What are the big plans for the opening day?
Ryan: Country music star Jon Pardi will be performing as well as local band A Boy Named Sioux opening the night. You can hear Pardi’s single “Up All Night” currently being played on KMLE 107.9. KMLE is also sponsoring the night with a full radio remote transmitting live from Whiskey Row. We have had an overwhelming response to the grand opening event and wish we had enough room for everyone but are afraid it will sell out very soon, especially since the event is free to the public.
AFM: You describe the bar and restaurant as country with a Scottsdale twist, what does that mean exactly?
Ryan: This means we will have a traditional blue-collar vibe and live Country music several days of the week. The Scottsdale part comes into play because Whiskey Row is located in the biggest, baddest 50 yards of road in the entire entertainment district in old town Scottsdale, notorious for world class nightlife that rivals anything in Vegas or L.A.
AFM: Aside from the country theme, how is Whiskey Row going to be the same as, and different from the other bars and restaurants you own and operate?
Ryan: Whiskey Row is the only bar in the state to offer liquor taps right at your table and one of the few to offer beer taps at your table. The sound, lights and production equipment are all state of the art concert quality components to offer the best sounding show in the valley. The big difference from other bars, especially Country bars, is the stage hanging from the ceiling directly above the bar. There will be a 360 degree view of the band, not a bad seat in the house, quite literally. We will plan on having the same from-scratch high-quality menu that you’ve come to expect form our other bar, El Hefe (elhefescottsdale.com). Same quality food with all new Southern inspired menu items. The energy at Hefe is notorious in the Phoenix valley which rarely doesn’t have a line to get in on weekends. We plan to duplicate this energy and even take it up a notch if it’s even possible.
AFM: Another local country bar and restaurant, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar, is also owned by a country star. How will Whiskey Row stand out from this?
Ryan: Dierks will have a much bigger role in the bar and will make frequent appearances and may even show up announced while hes visiting his home town to tip it on back with the crowd. Whiskey Row will be a very intimate venue with less than half the capacity of some other Country bars in town. What that makes for is a better, closer view of the stage and a more connected concert experience. The bar is huge and right in the middle of the room so getting a drink is never a problem. We’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on sound, stage and lights so the sensory overload you’ll experience is more in tune with stadium concerts than a bar setting. Most events we hold, with the possible exception of huge national touring acts, will be free to the public. At Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row there really is no cover charge, come as you are…
AFM: What do you guys anticipate the bar will be like on any given night of the week? A Tuesday night, vs. a Friday night vs. a Sunday afternoon? What is the energy and vibe going to be like?
Ryan: There will always be something to do every night of the week. The menu is made from an all-scratch kitchen with only the freshest ingredients as well as organic ingredients when they are available to us. Like our other bar El Hefe, this is not at all “bar food” but gourmet food served in a restaurant for bar prices. We anticipate the lunch and dinner crowd to be to capacity during peak hours with the exciting menu we plan to roll out upon opening. The after dinner crowd will usually consist of live Country music with a little rock in there for good measure. On weekends and nights that we have national touring Country acts booked will be the hottest ticket in town and with our limited capacity, we are confident that nights like this will sell out quickly. We recommend getting here early to make sure to get in.
AFM: Are you in the process of hiring new staff? If you are where can people apply?
Ryan: We will be holding a job fair in mid-June and will be hiring for all positions. Our online job app can be found on our website here http://dierkswhiskeyrow.
AFM: Staff-wise, what kind of people are you looking to bring on? What qualities do you think are most important in a staff?
Ryan: First and foremost we are looking for people who can provide the best possible service to customers with the best possible attitudes and the highest level of professionalism. This sounds like a tall order but when you’re in as competitive of a market as old town Scottsdale, people expect the best of the best and we plan on employing the best. We have a reputation to maintain coming from El Hefe and anyone who has been there knows we would only offer top notch food, service, and most of all show people that we know how to let loose and party like a Country star.
Ryan: We have some huge shoes to fill and have to come in strong with food and entertainment that Dierks himself will be proud to call his own. The design of the bar and floating stage has never been done in this part of the country as far as we know and will take not only Country themed bars to the next level but nightlife in general. We aren’t here to gouge people at the door, you will NEVER pay a cover charge at Whiskey Row and when we do have ticketed events, they will be for the smallest ticket charge we can realistically have. Don’t expect another boring Country themed place like we’ve all seen in the past, Whiskey Row is truly the next level of dining and entertainment on the hottest block Scottsdale has to offer. “This time you really will Love This Bar!
The venue will be open seven days a week: Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m. A specialty brunch menu will be served every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
4420 N. Saddlebag Trail
Follow Amanda on Twitter @Amanda_Savage