It’s All in the Name
If you were trying to come up with a pretentious name for a wine bar, Rott n’ Grapes probably wouldn’t make the cut – and that’s just fine with husband and wife team Keith Shanks and Patty Gii, co-owners of two wine-and-beer bars operating under the brand. Looking for something fun, edgy, memorable, creative, and unique, they settled on the unusual name because the play on words grabs people’s attention while capturing the two things they love most — wine and Rottweilers. In fact, Patty has been rescuing Rotties for eighteen years.
Fun and memorable describes Rott n’ Grapes perfectly. Patty and Keith want their establishments to be more than your typical wine bar. They want them to be a place that people inhabit – along with their dogs – and want to return to regularly. “The ability to take your dog out with you is bigger than ever. It’s so important to people,” said Patty. They’ve looked to remain true to their brand and mission and have simplified the business in terms of what brings foodies to the forefront, focusing on excellent service along with good drinks and food.
Unlike their original uptown location, their newly opened Rott n’ Grapes RoRo spot, located in downtown Phoenix, is a full-service restaurant with lunch and dinner, weekend brunch, and an expanded drink menu offering cocktails. The new location features a bistro, a mezzanine level, a bottle shop, and The Onyx, a speakeasy-style basement lounge, all intended to present patrons with a multi-use concept that allows them to customize their experience under one roof.
The Culture of the Wine Community
When asked about which of the new five Cs they found most applicable, the pair had no problem identifying with most of them. Naturally, commerce came first to mind — they’ve been very business-minded for quite some time with many years of multi-corporate experience between them and have been involved in numerous startups in different capacities.
Having enjoyed visiting wine bars as they’ve traveled around over the years, when looking for a new venture, opening their own spot made sense. They take incredible pride in growing a business that brings joy to customers.
Community is also essential – Keith and Patty are both very active as owners and engage the community and others in the industry to create those all-important connections.
Transplants to Arizona, they both know the importance of creating a welcoming environment and they love the possibilities that Arizona affords those who want to take a chance.
“It’s so underdeveloped that it’s developed just right and the growth is going just right. That’s why I think I really enjoy this state more than anything,” commented Keith.
Part of their success lies in having fun with their brand to creating an accommodating culture. They’ve noticed an influx of customers in their 20s and 30s who are intrigued by quality wine, craft beers, and cocktails. This younger crowd loves to experience wine and learn, so starting a wine club was a natural step. Knowing that ordering wine can be intimidating, particularly brands with difficult names, they’ve added labels to some of the wines to give them fun names to remove any pretention or intimidation (Who wouldn’t want to try a wine renamed Let’s Drink and Judge People?). They also make a concerted effort to create connections between patrons to invite them to become part of the collective joie de vivre.
So, if you’re looking for a place to enjoy wine without the pretention, make sure to visit Rott n’ Grapes.
Rott N' Grapes
4750 N Central Ave #140