Scottsdale's Dos Gringos Closes

Long-running Scottsdale nightspot Dos Gringos has served up its last cerveza.

The colorful Mexican-themed bar and cantina, which has been a mainstay of Old Town’s nightlife scene since the mid-‘90s, recently closed its doors after being sold to new owners. However, the place won’t stay closed for very long.

According to Jeff Fleenor, a spokesperson for the Dos Gringos chain, the Scottsdale location shut down on Tuesday, November 17, after it was purchased by an unspecified company out of Chicago. Its currently undergoing a relatively quick remodeling and will reopen with as Old Town Gringos later this month, featuring a similar vibe and slightly different name.

The Valley’s other Dos Gringos locations in Mesa, Tempe, and Chandler are still in operation and weren’t included in the sale, Fleenor told New Times.

The Scottsdale version of bar, which was located along Craftsman Court, was where the chain got its start in 1996. A brainchild of local bar/nightlife impresario Brian Roehrich, the original Dos Gringos proved to be a major hit with 20-somethings and the college crowd over the years, boasting multiple bars and patios, a relaxed beach-bum vibe, DJs and dancing, and (naturally) specials on a slew of Mexican beers.

Multiple Dos Gringos locations opened up around the Valley in the following years, including a couple of now-defunct versions in and around Arizona State University in Tempe. It also became a cornerstone of a mini-empire of East Valley theme bars started by Roehrich in the early aughts, which at various points included the New Orleans-themed Sugar Daddy’s in Scottsdale, a Mill Avenue nightclub called Cherry Lounge & Pit, and a speakeasy-style lounge called The Door in Tempe.

Unfortunately, most of these spots eventually were either sold off or went under by 2009, the same year that Roerich wound up being sentenced to two years in prison for tax evasion. Dos Gringos, which was sold to new owners that same year, pretty much stayed the same, and continued to host any number of shindigs, ranging from goofy “Bar Olympics” events to numerous block parties held on major drinking holidays like Saint Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve. The annual Santarchy celebration put on by the urban pranksters of the Arizona Cacophony Society also kicked off every year at Dos in Scottsdale.

Despite the fact it stuck around for the better part of two decades, the bar’s popularity waxed and waned over the years.

“As you're probably aware, Dos Gringos has, through the years, gone through its ups and downs,” Fleenor says. “So its previous owners decided that instead of redoing an entirely new concept there, they’d rather just sell it.”

Local selector Michael McDowell, who performs as DJ M2 and served as the bar’s Tuesday resident for the last couple of years, was on hand for its final night in operation last week.

He admits to being “shocked and saddened” by the closing, especially since Dos Gringos had become an nightlife institution of sorts in Scottsdale.

“It's been there for so long and a lot of people I know have went out to party there throughout the years,” McDowell says.