Shakespeare may have argued that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but apparently some Valley bar owners and restaurateurs don't agree with the famous poet. Over the last few months there's been a quiet but confusing game of musical names going on among three different concepts in Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale.
Last month we told you that the decade-old Tavern on Mill would be closing its doors to re-open in the fall as a new concept called Wasted Grain. Now the owners have had to change their name after a legal conflict with the company behind Scottsdale's now-defunct Martini Ranch, which closed its doors last fall.
The Tavern on Mill will now re-open as Blasted Barley. The decision comes as a result of a settlement between Meal Ticket, the company behind The Tavern on Mill, and Scottsdale-based Square One Concepts, which owns the space once occupied by Martini Ranch. In a written statement, Tavern on Mill owner Steve Simmons said:
"Meal Ticket/Tavern On Mill had planned to use Wasted Grain as its new name, but recently learned that another bar/restaurant in Scottsdale was also going to use it. Those two businesses ultimately agreed that, in exchange for certain confidential considerations, Meal Ticket/Tavern On Mill will allow the Scottsdale bar/restaurant to use the name Wasted Grain, and the new name for Tavern On Mill is going to be Blasted Barley."
Consulting partner Erron Halen says the plan for Blasted Barley -- which will include an in -house micro-brewery and micro-distillery -- remains the same. Mill Avenue will still be getting a new 2,500 square foot area called "The Playground," a new live music venue, and bar with an extensive selection of draft beers.
As for Wasted Grain in Old Town Scottsdale, the new bar and restaurant is already open. The according to Square One Concepts' spokesperson Alecia Sanchez, the space underwent extensive renovations that included the addition of a kitchen. The new add-on has allowed Wasted Grain to add a menu that focuses on sharable plates. The "Prohibition-style" bar/restaurant will focus on its whiskey offerings, Sanchez says.
And if that's not interesting enough, consider that prior to the drama surrounding the Wasted Grain name, Square One Concepts also fought to use the name The Original Bootlegger for its new Old Town concept. (Check out the Scottsdale liquor license request for a concept called The Original Bootlegger at 7295 E. Stetson Drive."
Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse (as in the restaurant with locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale) owner Rick Phillips confirms that there was "an issue" over use of the Bootleggers name and that it was "amicably resolved."
Square One Concepts also owns a bar/restaurant in San Diego called -- you guessed it -- Bootleggers.