By Marjorie Rice
At Bevvy Uptown, when they say “bacon burger” they really mean it.
The gastropub’s 60/40 Burger isn’t just topped with bacon strips (along with fried onions, cheese, avocado and sriracha aioli), it’s made with a mixture of 60 percent ground beef and 40 percent ground bacon. The result is bacon in every bite, a revelation of luscious smokiness. And it’s a reflection of the collaboration of chefs Donald Provencio and Jonathan Knight.
Bevvy is part of Diane and Les Coriei’s Evening Entertainment Group, a hospitality company with several restaurant concepts at locations in three states, including Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Beer Garden, and Casa Amigos, both in Scottsdale. There are two Bevvy locations, in Old Town Scottsdale and North Central at Seventh Street north of Missouri Avenue.
The company brought on Knight in May as executive chef to oversee both Bevvy locations, and Provencio joined Bevvy Uptown as head chef in October.
“When we first met, Don told me, ‘If I wasn’t cooking, I don’t know what I’d do,’” Knight said. “I feel exactly the same way, and I knew we’d work well together.”
The pair immediately set to work to finetune the menu at both locations, updating and refreshing existing dishes and creating new items.
“We wanted to get back to who we are as Bevvy, that neighborhood place that everybody loves, with comfort food taken to the next level,” Knight said.
One result is that 60/40 Burger, an old favorite now dressed with Sriracha aioli, a bow to Provencio’s extensive background with traditional Mexican fare. Together, they added a new menu creation, the Tennessee to AZ Chick Sandwich – fried chicken on Texas toast with spicy berry jam, Swiss cheese, arugula, tomato, onion, garlic aioli and pickles.
Knight contributed another innovative combo, the aptly named Screwball Burger with a beef patty flambéed with peanut butter whiskey (yes, peanut butter), topped with cheddar, bacon and served with housemade jam.
The changes reflect differing preferences at each location. Provencio said the North Central location is “more influenced on Mexican cuisine than the Scottsdale Bevvy.”
“That’s special to the clientele here,” Provencio said. “For example, I updated the chilaquiles on the brunch menu so they’re aligned with the classic recipe, and they’re our number one seller right now. Customers are glad to see consistent main dishes. There’s nothing crazy on our menu.”
Except, perhaps, for a hamburger named Screwball.
Provencio said customers “like that they’ll find very traditional items – like our ‘Basic’ for brunch.” That’s eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, fruit and yogurt.
Another favorite is Provencio’s posole, available only on weekends.
The biggest change at Bevvy, as it has been for every restaurant in the nation, stems from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been careful to check the temperature of every staff member, and they all wear masks and gloves,” Provencio said.
The restaurant also has socially distanced tables and moveable partitions at the bar, and a large patio.
“We just make sure everybody stays safe,” Provencio said.
There’s more than food at Bevvy. “We really need fun right now,” Provencio said.
So there’s movie night every Sunday. Customers can watch a movie or sports – a nice option for couples when both aren’t into football. The TVs are separated, so patrons can hear their selection. Each night’s menu special matches the movie theme, so for “Home Alone” it was Nero’s Personal Pizza, and for “Elf” it was fried chicken and waffles – with plenty of syrup.
And for more excitement there’s a “Drag Brunch” on the third Saturday of the month, featuring a drag performance. There’s a $25 reservation fee, so call for information.
Good food, an extensive cocktail and spirits selection and fun are a combination that has struck a chord with Bevvy Uptown patrons, Provencio said.
“I’ve been in restaurants for nearly 30 years, and this is the most family-oriented feeling I’ve ever had,” he said. “It shows in our service and in our food. I think that reflects on how we treat our guests, and they see that when they walk in. We want to be a place where friends can be friends and family. We want to be safe, and we have a great time doing it.”
Bevvy Uptown at 5600 N. Seventh St. is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. To learn more, call 602-568-0155 or visit bevvyaz.com.