After being in the food and beverage industry for more than 30 years, Steve Stephens has many businesses to mark his success, including Empire, Opium and Sanctuary nightclubs, as well as Bobby McGee’s and Blue Adobe Grill. In 2003 Stephens purchased the Arena Sports Grill in Scottsdale, which became a favorite stop for locals looking for reliable delivery of great food and fun in an atmosphere that nurtures good times for the whole family.
But that is not all of them, The Upper Crust Pizza & Patio Wine Bar, one of the most recent ventures of Stephens, offers not only the best Brooklyn-styled pizza in town but also salads, wine and craft beer.
Upper Crust is a perfect place for both adult-only and family dining. Everything needs to get Stephens’ mark of approval for freshness and quality from the Fried Mozzarella to Fried Calamari and all the quality toppings that include Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, Italian sausage, oven-roasted red peppers, pesto, mushrooms, ricotta cheese, pepperoni, grilled chicken, meatballs and many more.
Upper Crust not only offers the Brooklyn-styled pizza in in three sizes: a twelve-inch ‘personal’ pie, a sixteen-inch small, and an eighteen-inch large pie, but also calzones, which are folded pizzas that come with the same toppings and also three different sizes.
Stephens has also developed a number of fabulous salads, including the Mediterranean Salad, Caprese, and Caesar, as well as Buffalo-styled wings.
The Upper Crust features a full bar and a notable wine list with wines from around the United States, Italy, South America and Australia. But reflective of Steve Stephens’ love for good beer is the bar’s 12 taps, serving mainly craft brews, as well as few of the old standbys, too. From three p.m. to seven p.m. the Upper Crust hosts a happy hour which they call The Unnecessoiree – a party for no reason – which offers guests of 21 and older specials on drinks and appetizers in the lounge.
From his earliest days in the food and beverage business, Stephens has proven a talent for creating ambiance and the Upper Crust’s environment again bears his trademark. A combination of traditional and casual seating the same style is found on the adults-only patio, too, creating a relaxing setting that is sociable and which encourages conversation. Stephens’ goal to create an environment that was suitable for a nice night out – but which would also make the sports-fans in the group happy – was achieved.
The restaurant is located at 20235 N Cave Creek Rd., just south of the 101 freeway and Cave Creek Road. When asked how he decided on the location, Stephens said “It chose me. My landlord at Arena Sports Grill asked if I wanted another location, and it all worked out perfectly.”
Besides dinning, Upper Crust also offers special events, a perfect place for cocktail receptions, wine tastings, business lunches, school team gatherings, and celebrations of all types and styles that will seem surprising and effortless.