Famous 48 may have 36 televisions, but it’s not a sports bar.
“I never refer to us as a sports bar,” says S. Barrett Rinzler, founder and CEO of Square One Concepts. “I feel that carries a connotation of a dingy, smoky place with fried food and the smell of old beer.”
In fact, the only smoke at the 4,500-square-foot restaurant that relocated from Old Town Scottsdale to Gainey Ranch in February is the smoked meat, which is prepared in-house for eight—yes, eight—hours. One of the favorites among these? The barbecue baby back ribs, Barrett says.
All of the menu options offer a nod to Arizona as the 48th state, a mix of both classic American and Arizona dishes crafted with an artisanal approach in a scratch kitchen.
“This is where we live and work, so we wanted to pay a little homage to our home state,” he explains.
Other locally minded, wow-’em options include the house-smoked pulled pork sandwich and the smoked brisket pizza—which can be made gluten-free. Even the crispy, hearty and fresh fries are a cut above. And the Famous Drumettes (grilled drumettes) go above and beyond. Other menu options range from salads to a cheeseburger and veggie burger and even grilled cheese.
There is also a large selection of appetizers, such as the skillet shrimp, which includes five large shrimp dunked in tender grits, a N'awalins light-yet-indulgent sauce and grilled bread. It’s likely to impress Louisiana purists. The waffle mac 'n' cheese is a four-cheese blend poured over a classic noodle smashed in a waffle maker—an epic American experience.
Several of the menu items are new additions since the concept’s move to its new location. Here, Famous 48 evolves from “regional fan favorites” to a fresh focus on “popular Arizona lifestyle favorites,” according to spokesperson Cynthia Dunne.
As for its bar, the entire 20-tap menu is dedicated to Arizona brews, and another 20 Arizona spirits are offered—including the Fashioned 48, which blends house-made “chiltepine pepper” bitters, Don Julio Reposado tequila, agave, a flamed orange peel and an ice block to culminate in an old-fashioned/fireball kick.
The locale’s new 4,500 square-foot interior is styled with leather horseshoe booths and banquettes, wood high-tops with black leather bar stools for maximum comfort. The full-service indoor/outdoor bar features a beautiful walnut countertop and patterned tiles.
“We felt there was a big hole in the area for upscale comfort foods and good sports viewing, and we fill both of those perfectly,” Barrett says.
A large patio features two fireplaces, lounge seating, games and TVs. In the coming months, pups will be allowed in this area. For more information, visit Famous48.com.
WHAT: Famous 48
WHERE: The Shops Gainey Village, 8989 N. Scottsdale Road
WHAT TO ORDER: "Barbecue baby back ribs,” S. Barrett Rinzler says.
Imported from Denmark and smoked in-house for eight hours, Famous 48’s barbecue baby back ribs are a clean, delicate and light pork that falls off the bone, topped with the right amount of one-part Kansas City, one-part Texas barbecue sauce. “They are the quintessential staple of comfort food, and we think our ribs stack up against any others in the Valley,” Barrett says.