Restaurant News

Russell Pearce, Phil Gordon, D-Backs and even New Times to Crowd the Arrogant Butcher

It's being billed as "one of the most comprehensive series of grand opening events in Valley restaurant history," but to be honest, the line-up for Sam Fox's Arrogant Butcher is giving us a serious case of heartburn.

Jason Rose -- the public relations poobah who brought Phoenix pink tacos and too-saucy campaign ads -- released a mind- and stomach-boggling line-up today for the week preceeding Fox's public opening February 21 at CityScape in downtown Phoenix.

"Arrogant Butcher To Be New Power Dining Spot For Power Brokers" Rose proclaims in his press release.

Uh, don't start packing it in quite yet, Durant's.

Rose invited the media to attend the pre-opening events, an eye-popping array including a dinner featuring state Senate President Russell Pearce and Senate Majority Leader (and former felon) Scott Bundgaard.

We'll give Rose this: He's got to be the only PR guy in town who considers it a coup to get Pearce to show his face in public.

Rose also apparently thinks it's a good idea to bill a happy hour as "Clinton v. Reagan" and invite both the state Republican and Democratic parties to attend.

Other events next week include: 

a dinner with the Arizona State Bar; a fundraister with Mayor Phil Gordon for Central Arizona Shelter Services featuring a happy hour for Phoenix Suns Charities; a cocktail party for the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to raise funds for an AIDS organization; a "power lunch" including the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and Arizona Bankers Association to benefit the symphony and United Way; a happy hour "afternoon with the Arizona Diamondbacks," featuring Luis Gonzalez and Derrick Hall; a brunch for residents of the Willo and Encanto neighborhoods; and even a happy hour with Phoenix New Times.

Seriously, it looks like the Phoenix phone book vomited.

Frankly, Mr. Fox, we've always thought of you as pretty fantastic -- after all, you brought us the likes of Olive & Ivy, Blanco, North, True Food, Modern Steak, Sauce, Zinburger, Culinary Dropout and The Greene House. Good restaurants with great themes worth visiting, sans the fanfare. (And certainly sans certain unappetizing politicians.)

So why the pyrotechnics, Sam? Covering up a lackluster menu? Are you that wary of moving into downtown Phoenix?

Come to think of it, given the number of downtown restaurants and businesses that have closed recently -- or seem in imminent danger of closing, or never even opened -- we guess we can't blame you.

Don't mind us if we sidestep your sideshow.