For free monthly updates, event invitations and exclusive deals, sign-up for our newsletter!
Enter a keyword such as “Italian” or “Hamburgers” or type the name of the restaurant below.
September, 2010, Page 184
Photo by Richard Maack
Ken Cheuvront, Owner, Cheuvront Restaurant & Wine Bar
BACK OF THE HOUSE
Ken Cheuvront is a state senator, a construction company owner and the proprietor of a hip Downtown restaurant/wine bar that bears his name. It’s one of many participating in Arizona Restaurant Week September 18-26.
Cheuvront Restaurant & Wine Bar opened in 2003 and has survived light rail construction, the economic downturn and increasingly stiffer competition. It has stayed strong by offering about 50 artisan cheeses and a full menu with several standout dishes, along with a reasonably priced list of international wines. Winemaker dinners, wine and cheese tastings and a killer happy hour complete the bill of fare.
Cheuvront expects his employees to be ambassadors for the wares. Last spring, the entire staff went through an 18-week course to become first-level sommeliers. He also takes staffers on a trip each year to learn about cheese and/or wine. The restaurant will be closed September 5-7 so they can explore Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
“It’s amazing how many people apply for jobs just before we go,” Cheuvront says.
Tell us about your new chef.
Ryan Rivera. Ryan went to Le Cordon Bleu (in Scottsdale) and then he had his own catering company for several years…. We did a big search. We had probably 200 applicants. We whittled it down to three and did a cook-off. The whole staff was there. We gave (the chefs) a basket of food and three wines. He was by far the most outstanding.
With a new chef, will there be new menu items?
Probably by fall most of the menu will be his. He’s putting his own signature on a lot of the dishes.
Do you have a favorite cheese?
Barely Buzzed (from Utah). It’s rubbed with coffee and lavender bud.
You’re on the light rail line. How has business been since the trains started rolling?
Construction just about killed us and every other business on the light rail line. For months, you couldn’t get on the road to get to the restaurant. Once the construction was done, sales increased dramatically. The first year (after completion), they were up about 30 percent.
Guns in bars: Why don’t you allow them, and have you had anyone challenge you on it?
When I voted on it, I got a bunch of e-mails saying, “I loved your burritos and I’m never coming to Cheuvront again.” (Cheuvront doesn’t serve burritos.) I have not yet met any rational restaurant owner that believes that mixing guns and alcohol is a good idea.
Now for SB 1070. Has it, or do you think it will, affect the workforce in the restaurant industry?
I’m not sure it will impact the workforce, because I, like most businesses in Arizona, have been e-verifying my employees. Where it’s going to hurt us is the reputation we’re getting around the country as (being) intolerant. It’s unfortunate, because 1070 really doesn’t do anything to stop (illegal) immigration. If the legislature really wanted to stop illegal immigration, they would have toughened up employer sanctions, and they’ve refused to do that.
Cheuvront Restaurant & Wine Bar
1326 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
© 2007 Copyright Phoenix Magazine 15169 N. Scottsdale Road Suite C310 Scottsdale Arizona 85254
Travel & Outdoors
Best of The Valley
Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine
Advertise With Us
Web Site Design