By J. Adam Burch and Stacey Lane
Q Bar and Grill has the Secret Ingredients for Staying Power
For 30 years, Q Bar and Grill has been famous for serving the freshest, best-tasting fish in the valley. With two locations in North Phoenix and Peoria, hundreds of people flock to the restaurant’s Friday Fish Fry every week.
Q Bar and Grill was created by Chuck Rohlfing in 1988, and continues to be owned and operated by his family. Rohlfing moved to Arizona from Northern Minnesota where he spent many years as a bar owner and working as a Walleye fishing guide. In an industry where many restaurants go out of business after a few years, the Q Bar and Grill’s longevity is a testament that there is something unique about the place. Tastes exclusive to this family owned establishment can be the frills to your action-packed Arizona adventure. You are greeted happily and take in the smells of freshly flown in walleye.
Speaking of wall-eyes, as you uncover unique attractions of Arizona, your dining experiences can provide a memorable and perhaps an unsuspecting atmosphere as well. In between legendary southwest ghost towns the bustle of the big city can hide a dining jewel guarded by a menagerie of woodland creatures. Your trip to the Other Q Restaurant & Bar will be a story to tell as you take in the locals-come-here atmosphere and try to identify as many perfectly preserved wildlife as you can before your food arrives.
Rohlfing’s daughter, Julie; whose welcoming and positive demeanour further permeated the room, shared her memories of the restaurant’s launch, “My father opened the restaurant with beer served from a cooler, burgers, fries, his homemade sausages and 60 pounds of fresh fish.” Julie recalled the first Friday fish fry that made the restaurant famous, “It began at 4:30 and we ran out of fish by 6:00 p.m.”
Today, 1,000 pounds of fish are sold each week at their two locations. The Cat Fish is flown in fresh from Mississippi, the Cod from Pacific Northwest, the Pollack from Alaska and the Walleye from Minnesota. Delight in a hearty helping of the lightly breaded cod fried to perfection and when dipped it in the special home-made sauce made from the Rohlfing’s family recipe; the combination was heavenly.
The Spicy Italian Sausage is also a family original; juicy meat laced with rich and succulent flavors with a combination of peppers, onions and swiss cheese that patiently wait to melt in your mouth. The insanely delicious Green Chile, the crispy, zesty cole-slaw and flavorful dipping sauces, all made from Rhlfing treasure trove of recipes.
As an expert introduces the menu and you find that even the most common Reuben sandwich has corned-beef cured in-house and will keep you wanting to come back for more. Having made the Dean’s List on CBS 5’s Dirty Dining Report and passing the health and safety inspection with flying colors; Julie’s family’s passion for running a high caliber restaurant has paid off.
The patio has a slightly upscale feel with spacious seating, yet is cozy enough that you could naturally converse with the table next to you. Some of the people sitting at the bar seemed like old friends, and it turns out, many of them are. Ninety percent of the patrons are return customers, and in a city like Phoenix that teems with newness, finding an atmosphere of connectedness born from long standing ties are rare.
An air of friendship and shared history emanates throughout the Q Bar, where some of the patrons have been coming back for 30 years. At the Q Bar and Grill, the second most powerful secret ingredient you will discover is the people you will find there.
Q Bar and Grill – www.qbarandgrill.org –
The Other Q Bar and Grill is located at;
20818 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85027
The Reuben Sandwich has corned-beef cured in-house and will keep you wanting to come back for more – photos by; Arizona Sports and Lifestyle Magazine