Talk about taking a risk. Opening a new restaurant is always a high-wire act. But to do so during a pandemic when most US restaurants are unable to operate at full capacity and more than 110,000 are estimated to have closed their doors for good, it seems like setting yourself up for failure. Yet data from Yelp shows that new restaurant and other food business openings in 2020 were down just 16% from 2019. And they were only down 4% in the fourth quarter relative to the year-ago period. Meaning some brave people are pushing ahead despite the current risks.CNN Business reached out to a few new restaurant owners to learn why they decided to open their establishments during the pandemic.Read more
NIKKI BUCHANAN January 19, 2021
Peter Kasperski, the crazy-creative Scottsdale restaurateur behind dearly departed Cowboy Ciao, Sea Saw, Digestif, Kazimierz World Wine Bar and Counter Intuitive, partners with longtime friend, former employee and inventive master barman Richie Moe to open Roosevelt Row’s most sophisticated restaurant and bar to date (Speakeasy Alias, which sits behind Character, hasn’t opened yet, but it’s almost ready to rock). I popped in to see how Kasperski, an Old Town Scottsdale boy since his salad days at Dr. Munchie’s and Steven, is navigating the downtown Phoenix food scene and so far, so great.Read more
Phoenix, Ariz., November 18, 2020: Richie Moe III and Peter Kasperski, both together and separately, have been thrilling guests with memorable dining and entertainment experiences in Scottsdale for the past three-plus decades. Now, they are teaming up again to offer their creative goods to downtown Phoenix, expanding the dining and drinking options in the Roosevelt Arts District. Their goal is simple – bring ‘Character’ to the neighborhood.
Richie and PK first met in Chicago, where Richie’s Dad was Peter’s mentor. Richie helped Peter open both Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz world wine bar, then went on to open Blue Note Cellars, Citizen Public House, & The Gladly. They have also owned and/or operated several more of Old Town Scottsdale’s most interesting establishments. The duo is now taking their wares to Downtown Phoenix, to introduce both CHARACTER Distinctive Dining and ALIAS, a modern speakeasy to the neighborhood.