Oliver’s Modern American Restaurant to Open in Former Historic Polynesian Dairy Queen Building

Photo: Oliver’s Modern American 

South Scottsdale will soon welcome another innovative dining experience from Clayton Companies with its newest restaurant, Oliver’s Modern American. Set to open in May, this new dining spot will bring reimagined, classic dishes and an extensive wine list, all within a historic mid-century modern atmosphere. 

Oliver’s unique angular roof and classic mid-century modern aesthetic can be traced to its roots as a Polynesian-style Dairy Queen designed by noted architect Ralph Haver’s firm. Before its current location at 3207 N. Hayden Road, next to its sister restaurant, The Eleanor, the classic 1960s building was located three miles away at McDowell Road and 68th Street and faced demolition before real estate developer Tom Frenkel intervened. Frenkel enlisted the ALINE Architecture and Social Design Studio to reinterpret the 1,000-square-foot building. The team added a 3,400-square-foot dining area to accompany the original building’s converted cocktail lounge. 

The restaurant’s interior honors its unique history while still embodying an elegant, welcoming atmosphere with photographs of the original Polynesian Dairy Queen throughout the space.

“As we approach the grand opening of Oliver’s, we couldn’t be more excited to unveil a space that is modern and inviting, but also pays homage to its rich mid-century history,” says Nicole Herman, lead interior designer and founder of Social Design Studio. “We can’t wait for patrons to experience the unique blend of past and present that Oliver’s embodies.”

Former head chef of La Grande Orange and current head chef of The Eleanor, Kent Macaulay, has recreated classics for Oliver’s elevated American menu. With dishes such as the Coffee Crusted New York Strip, Scallops served with cream corn, coconut, cashews and serranos, and Moroccan Chicken Skewers, there is a dish for every taste and palette. Guests can pair their dinner with one of the many wines offered or enjoy a craft cocktail like the Ancho Margarita, which boasts cinnamon and grapefruit. Opening just in time for the coming warm summer nights, guests can dine inside or on the outside lava rock patio while they indulge in a culinary adventure. 

“Oliver’s is a very special addition to this retail plaza and to South Scottsdale,” says Frenkel. “It’s a piece of Scottsdale history that’s been completely reimagined and revived, and the enthusiasm from the community has been overwhelming already!”

Learn more about Oliver’s Modern American and stay up to date on Instagram, @oliversaz.

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