Rub elbows with the rich and famous on your next trip to the Phoenix area, or at least rub your elbows on their dining tables. Success in the worlds of sports and music have led several men to restaurant ownership right here in Arizona, and here's where to find the tables of these superstars:
Shock-rocker Alice Cooper may be known worldwide for ghoulish makeup and a prop guillotine, but in his Phoenix hometown he’s recognized for philanthropy, a love of golf and a barbecue restaurant near Chase Field and US Airways Center. Alice Cooper’s town brims with sports and music memorabilia while slinging brisket, ribs and frequent live music (101 E. Jackson St., 602.253.7337).
Jimmy Buffett parlayed a hit song into a series of Margaritaville restaurants serving vacation-flavored sandwiches and umbrella drinks. He dropped one anchor near University of Phoenix Stadium and Jobing.com Arena (Westgate, Loop 101 & Glendale Ave., Glendale, 623.772.0011). And country music statesman Toby Keith has two I Love This Bar & Grill locations in the Valley (Mesa, 480.844.8629; Peoria, 623.208.7288), while young buck Dierks Bentley opened his first Whiskey Row saloon this past July 4 in Scottsdale (4420 N. Saddlebag Tr., 480.945.4200).
It's not just the musicians, however.National Football League legends Don Shula (Miami Dolphins) and Mike Ditka (Chicago Bears) each have installed upscale restaurants within Arizona’s Gila River Indian Community. Shula’s Steak House at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino emphasizes beef in cuts from an 8-ounce filet to a 48-ounce porterhouse amid white linen and black-and-white photos (I-10 & Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler area, 520.796.1972). Ditka’s at Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino plays the protein field with filet mignon sliders, a seafood tower, a bone-in ribeye and “Da Pork Chop” in a sleek, lively space (51st Ave. south of Baseline Rd., south-Phoenix area, 520.550.1943).