Rott n’ Grapes makes a splash in Roosevelt

Rott n' Grapes (Nicole Neri/DD)
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Rott n’ Grapes RoRo joined the downtown Phoenix community in August and is looking to take advantage of the restaurant scene, expanding its original concept, an Uptown bar.

Husband and wife Keith Shanks and Patty Gii were inspired to open a boutique wine bar after their trip to Italy. They started Rott n’ Grapes in Uptown Phoenix, as an open window bar.

The bar’s name and strange spelling comes not from the fermenting of grapes, but from the couple’s love of rescuing of Rottweilers.

“We have been [rescuing Rottweilers] for 19 years, and we are on number six and number eight right now” Onyx is the eldest of the two at seven-and-a-half-years-old and Dolcetta is still a puppy, only 19-months-old. “It’s part of our identity more than anything else,” Shanks said.

Although the Uptown bar is successful, according to Shanks and Gii, the couple wanted to invest and open a second location in hopes of spreading their love of food, wine, and of course, Rottweilers.

“The cool thing is that we are in downtown,” Shanks said. “We wanted to come down here, we wanted to be on Roosevelt, now it’s just a matter of getting the word out.”

The RoRo has not been open long, but it is already making its mark on the neighborhood. The neon signs, open space, and downstairs speakeasy–The Onyx–all make the RoRo the place to be. Deroon said he loves having something close to home.

“I love it. I like the setting and the food is really good. It’s also super close to my apartment, which is really nice,” Deroon said.

The RoRo has a full bar, with 50 different wines and 70 craft beers. Shanks and Gii plan to add on a dog friendly patio in the next month, where Onyx and Dolcetta will be regulars.

The restaurant industry is extremely competitive, but Shanks is confident in his new business. After having seven startup businesses, Shanks believes Rott n’ Grapes has what it takes to be successful.

“There are a lot of things that are crucial for the growth of the organization. We have those pillars in place and I have done this within other industries for other companies. We are profitable in our Uptown location, and it’s very promising right now,” Shanks said.

General manager Jason Castro believes Rott n’ Grapes has something for everyone and hoped people enjoy the new location.

“Whether it’s a family, or a person who doesn’t drink, they can come in here and feel welcome,” Castro said.

Castro hopes people, like Deroon, can relax and enjoy a night out at The RoRo.

“I’d love for people to experience it themselves. It’s a neighborhood place where people can grab really good food, get away from the stress of life and let us take care of them for a little bit,” Castro said.

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