Cloud kitchen helps Chesapeake Bay Bistro to expand

Nowadays if you can figure out a successful recipe for running a restaurant the best way to maximize your potential is through expansion. That’s exactly what’s going on at Chesapeake Bay Bistro a year and half after opening in Ahwatukee. Unlike their brick and mortar location the owners opted to open their new location in a cloud kitchen inside the Tempe Food Court earlier this month. They’re not stopping there as third location will also be in a cloud kitchen in their former hometown of San Diego in January 2023.

“For restaurant owners, the past year has been challenging with staffing, higher prices for food supplies and rising costs for rent and utilities,” says James Brown, who co-owns the Ahwatukee-based bistro with his wife, Yolanda. “Adding locations through a food-court style expansion makes sense on many levels.”

Expansion into a cloud kitchen

Working in a cloud kitchen also gives them the opportunity to open new concepts without all the expenses of a brick and mortar location. That’s why the couple is planning to open a Creole/Cajun concept out of Tempe in 2023. Another reason for the expansion into cloud kitchens is CBB is seeing a lot of take-out from their Ahwatukee location.

“We believe that the food delivery model is the future and allows us to fulfill our customer base request,” said Brown said. “Sixty percent of our sales are call in or pickup now.” CBB works with several food delivery services to deliver the hot and fresh seafood dishes for delivery within 15 minutes.

To help alleviate some of the staffing issues of the past few years, the couple’s three grown sons have joined them in restaurants. One son will be running the new San Diego location in the Aztec Food Hub near the San Diego State University campus. The other two sons help out when mom and dad can’t be at the Ahwatukee location.

“Using cloud kitchen locations benefits small mom-and-pop restaurants like ours in several ways, allowing us to keep our labor and maintenance costs down,” Brown said.

The Tempe Food Court location is at 1900 E. 5th St. 85281, not far from the ASU campus and Tempe Marketplace. The Ahwatukee location is at 5033 E. Elliot Rd. Phoenix 85044. For more information visit their website or to order for delivery or takeout check out the delivery services.

 

Bartenders compete to create new Fall cocktails at Spinato’s

There’s no better way to create new cocktails for the Fall season than to go to those who make them on a daily basis. That’s why Spinato’s Pizzeria  bartenders organized a friendly contest with the bartenders at their six locations to see which cocktails make the final list.

“Our bartenders did a phenomenal job creating unique recipes for this contest,” said Erin Schultz, Spinato’s Marketing Director. “We’re really proud of them, and we hope our guests will enjoy the new cocktails as much as we do!” The creative cocktails will be on the menu until Spring and all participating bartenders received a gift card to several local breweries.

Bartenders new Fall cocktail list

The 6 new Fall cocktails are as follows.

Crystal Mirtillo: Crafted by bartender Milan Watt in Scottsdale. Featuring Hornitos Tequila, cranberry juice, lime juice, agave, Triple Sec, a splash of Sierra Mist and served with edible glitter and a sugared rim. $12

Dolce Delizioso: Crafted by bartender Janet Blau in Ahwatukee. Featuring Captain Morgan spiced rum, Kahlua, heavy cream, caramel sauce and served with a salted caramel rim. $16

Harvest Apple: Crafted by bartender Allison Brackenbury in Scottsdale. Featuring Captain Morgan spiced rum, cider simple syrup, lemon juice, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, soda water and served with 3 apple slices and fresh grated cinnamon. $12

Orange You Feeling Cran’d: Crafted by bartender Andrew Brent in Tempe. Featuring Del Bac scotch whiskey and cranberry simple syrup. $16

Porch-Side Smash: Crafted by bartender Conan Zimmerman in Phoenix. Featuring Blue Clover vodka, creme de mure, lemon juice and a press. $10

Spinato’s Spritz: Crafted by bartender Mike Danner in Ahwatukee. Featuring your choice of Blue Clover gin or vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, muddled Luxardo cherries with a press. $10

Danner also created a 3 Halloween themed cocktails.

Butter Beer Cocktail: For all the Harry Potter fans out there! Pinnacle Whipped vodka, butterscotch liqueur, Frangelico, caramel sauce and Grateful Spoon vanilla gelato. $14

Poison Apple Cocktail: Blue Clover vodka, apple liqueur, simple syrup, green edible swirl glitter and one Luxardo cherry. $8

Zombie Blood Cocktail: Kahlua coffee liqueur, creme de menthe and cream with a side of eyeball. $11

Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits brings Oktoberfest to Ahwatukee

If you can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest then make your way to Ahwatukee for the 2nd annual WCKD Oktoberfest at Wicked Brews, Bites and Spirits on Wednesday September 14th. Their Oktoberfest Lager will also be released on this Wicked Wednesday, the weekly all day happy hour that features live music at night from Abby and Luke.

Put on your favorite pair of lederhosen and raise your glass and sing while enjoying a special German inspired menu. A classic sausage platter, pork shank, pork schnitzel are featured along with Brewja Brats and a Bavarian Charcuterie Board. Chef Gee’s menu will be served until mid-October and the Lager will be on tap until it’s gone.

The rich and malty German lager is balanced with clean hop bitterness. A blend of hops gives the beer a traditional hop flavor with nuances of toasted bread, biscuits and caramel.

Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits is at 4921 E. Ray Rd. Phoenix 85044. For more information visit their website.
Hear wicked Brews owner Chip Mahoney on Episode 13 of my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman

Chesapeake Bay Seafood Bistro lets guests BYO beer & wine

The popular Ahwatukee seafood restaurant, Chesapeake Bay Seafood Bistro now lets guests bring in their own beer and wine to enjoy with lunch or dinner. The restaurant opened in June 2021 and caught on quickly with locals for its friendly service, selection of fresh seafood and reasonable prices.

Owners James and Yolanda Brown are no strangers to seafood having lived in Virginia before moving to San Diego for 30 years. They’re happy to have guests be able to bring in beer or wine during the hours of 12 -10 p.m. Corkage fees of $10 per 750 ml bottle of wine, $5 per 375 ml and $1 per can of beer offset the cost of glassware & labor and help keep food prices low.

“This allows our guests who would like to pair drinks with their food to have a gourmet experience at a fraction of the price of a fine dining restaurant,” Yolanda said. “We invite everyone to let us know which combinations work best so we can share suggestions with others.”

Since opening they’ve received a great review from the Arizona Republic dining critic Andi Berlin and in January their blue crabs landed on Phoenix Magazine’s 101 Best Dishes list. Daily seafood dishes run between $4.50 for tacos up to about $20 for plates for sandwiches, tacos, salads and plates. “Off the Grill” selections can be seasoned with Old Bay, garlic herb butter, teriyaki, lemon pepper and others. “Out of the fryer” dishes come seasoned with a light cornmeal batter. Side dishes include hush puppies, house-made Old Bay chips, corn on the cob, fried zucchini and more. They have live blue crabs flown in daily from Maryland during the season.

Chesapeake Bay Seafood Bistro is at 5033 E. Elliot Rd. Phoenix 85044 and is open Tuesday- Thursday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. For more information check out their website.

 

 

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