Space Case: Diego Pops

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Caitlin Jocque worked at restaurants while studying business and design at Arizona State University – and she never really stopped. Under their Jocque Concepts banner, she and her husband, Ryan, have founded five Valley restaurants including The Hot Chick, Original ChopShop Co. and Diego Pops in Scottsdale. But as the company’s creative director, she hardly wasted her time in college. “I’m actually using my degree,” she muses.

A visit to Riviera Maya was the inspiration for Diego Pops, an artsy Mexican-inflected eatery that opened in 2014 and has since become a “Scottsdale staple,” Jocque says. People will gladly drive from Gilbert to Old Town for the restaurant’s signature Brussels sprouts nachos and watermelon-mint margaritas.

“We knew we wanted the menu to be traditional, but with some twists,” Jocque says. “It was the same with design – a traditional feeling, but with fun, funky twists.”

Diego Pops

4338 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale 
Photo by Angelina Aragon
Photo by Angelina Aragon

1. Marquee Board 
The first thing many folks notice when entering the restaurant is this old-school LED letter board, which Jocque says sports a different message every month.

2. Art
Artwork throughout the space oscillates between different styles, themes and eras. This piece depicts a Day-Glo version of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper on black velvet.

3. Pineapple Wallpaper
The restaurant’s back wall is dappled with neon pink and yellow pineapples, a print that was conceived and created by Jocque herself. “I couldn’t find what I wanted online, so I made it,” she says.

4. Vintage Stove and Train Seats 
“We thought repurposing items for another use would be interesting and different,” Jocque says of the circa-1930s stove that serves as the hostess stand and the wooden train seats stationed by the entrance.

5. Lighting Fixtures
Jocque chose these midcentury pendant lights to offset the rest of the design’s repetition. “When you have not-so-perfect things paired with something that’s really polished, it feels unexpected.”