Union Wine Bar & Grill, the much-anticipated tapas restaurant that opened this summer in Old Town Scottsdale, is changing its menu — scaling back on its “small plates” offerings and adding full-size entrees — and closing on Sundays and Mondays.
Why? One reason might be a lack of customers. Just two weeks ago, I stopped in and was surprised to find a nearly empty restaurant at 7 p.m. on a Thursday. I’ve heard from other diners who’ve experienced the same thing, even on a Saturday night.
Another reason might be a rather uneven menu. I found some dishes, such as the pork-and-ricotta meatballs ($8.50) and crispy penne ($6.50), delicious. Others, such as slow-roasted pork ($8.50) and flat-iron steak ($12.50), were disappointments.
It’s certainly not what I expected when Chrysa Robertson and Tom Kaufman, the people behind Scottsdale’s fabulous Rancho Pinot Grill, opened the more relaxed Union Bar & Grill (“Wine” was added to the name later) on July 30.
Now, the Union staff is sifting through 12 weeks of receipts. The most popular small plates will be retained, according to manager Tim Valencia. Others will be jettisoned.
A selection of entrees — new dishes, not entree-size versions of existing dishes — is being added to the menu and should be available this week.
The closure on Sundays and Mondays, according to Valencia, will allow the restaurant to do construction work on a new patio without bothering diners.
Info: 3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, (480) 686-9966.
SANTAN VILLAGE OPENS EATERIES
Restaurant-starved Gilbert gets a major boost this week with the grand opening of the SanTan Village shopping center.
On Thursday, upscale-casual brew pub Gordon Biersch opens its third East Valley location on the southeast corner of Williams Field Road and Market Street.
(Along with its longtime location on Tempe’s Mill Avenue, Gordon Biersch opened its second on the southwest corner of Scottsdale Road and Mayo Boulevard last week . )
Other new SanTan Village restaurants opening Thursday: Corleone’s, Paradise Bakery & Café, Sbarro, Submarina, Neo Tokyo, Dairy Queen, Hot Dog on a Stick, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Maui Wowi and Wetzel’s Pretzels.
Cantina Laredo and Johnny Rockets are scheduled to open next month, and Blue Wasabi Martini & Sushi Bar and OPA! Souvlaki in December.
Coming to SanTan Village in early 2008: Brio Tuscan Grille, Kona Grill, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar and Blue Burrito Grille.