An Interview with Tim Smith, Owner of The Pink Pony

An interview with TIM SMITH, owner of The Pink Pony

(See accompanying feature story.)

The day I made my first communion, my parents brought me to the Pony to celebrate and I thought, "Wow, this place is so cool."

Buying the Pink Pony was a sentimental thing. We couldn't help but think it was worth pursuing.

I didn't care that I was a first-time restaurant owner, I just wanted the damn thing not to close.

Our first order of business was the bathrooms.

A lot of people wanted to buy the restaurant, but Gwen [Briley] wanted to sell it to someone who would keep it the Pink Pony and not tear it down or turn it into a sushi place.

In the beginning, Gwen really helped us. She knew we needed a 2.0 version of the restaurant. If she thought we were going astray, she'd whip us back into place.

Gwen still comes in. And we still have Steve [York, Briley's current husband and entertainer] sing in the restaurant.

My favorite piece of baseball memorabilia in the restaurant is the home plate from the original Scottsdale Stadium.

Baseball fans, managers, and umpires still come to the restaurant. But players make so much money now that they go to the Phoenician.

Gaylord Perry [retired Hall of Fame pitcher] still comes in.

Some people used to think the Pony was a strip club because it was so dark. That changed when we remodeled and added the window wall.

Menu-wise you have to change. The steak and potatoes won't change, but we needed other components.

Most of our customers are carnivores. They're like lions.

The locals are back, and they are so thankful.

Above all, you have to honor the Pony.