The Hospitality Industry in Greater Phoenix
Dala Al-Fuwaires is Principal at FJI, a hospitality interior design firm with a sweet spot for bar and restaurant interiors. Dala has over a decade of experience in the interior design field and has worked on hospitality, retail, and residential design projects ranging in size from boutique to national rollouts. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Arizona State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Purdue University.
In 2017, Dala created Design It Forward, an annual competition that awards interior design services to one food or beverage concept in the Greater Phoenix area. She created this arm of the business to support the talent, passion, and innovation found in our local community.
To hear more of her story, listen to Dala’s previous appearance on Valley Business Radio in February 2019.
David DeLorenzo, AKA DeLo, is the owner of Bar & Restaurant Insurance, a speciality insurance agency serving the hospitality industry. They excel at finding complicated insurance coverage for some of the largest bars and restaurants in Arizona, California, Texas and across the country.
A native Arizonan, DeLo attended college at Arizona State University and graduated with a BA in Marketing. He worked for Warner Bros records distributor after college, which started a 10-year career in the entertainment industry. While engaged in the record industry, and armed with marketing knowledge, DeLo opened his first marketing company called Diamond in the Rough Promotions. While building that business, DeLo discovered a niche market that could use his services: the restaurant industry. He developed his current affordable insurance for all sectors of the hospitality industry. DeLo is a dedicated member of Arizona’s restaurant community, constantly staying current on the bar and restaurant industry, in addition to the latest marketing trends, to ensure he is providing high-quality and cutting-edge services for restaurateurs and bar owners.
Patty Gii is Chief Executive Member and Owner of Rott n’ Grapes, with two locations in Phoenix. “Rott n’ Grapes Uptown”, the first location, opened its doors in November 2016 and features an open-window bar, dog friendly patio and open-air lounge. Serving up a menu of small bites, bruschetta, paninis and pizzas, “Uptown” features top-notch selections to wine enthusiasts and beer snobs of all levels. The Uptown location is the perfect balance of big city ambiance and locals’ bar atmosphere. It is located at the base of Landmark Tower Condominium complex and walking distance from the Valley Metro Light Rail.
“Rott n’ Grapes RoRo”, the newest location, opened September 26, 2018 in the historic Gold Spot building in the Roosevelt Row District. Seated in a neighborhood of high-rise condos, town homes, single family homes and small businesses, “RoRo” is a one-stop shop for all beverage and food needs. It features a three-level, multi-use, full-service restaurant and bar, serving up lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends and offers catering. “RoRo” exclusively offers an artisan cocktail menu and to-go bottle shop. This location is also a short walk to the Valley Metro Rail and is becoming a local favorite and destination for valley visitors.
At the age of 12 Patty journeyed to Italy with her mother and around 20 family members. It was at this ripe, adventurous age when she became immersed into the world of wine through culture, religion, and most poignantly – a single parents’ income. When inquiring what she could order with dinner, (the water and pop were digging into the travel funds) mom looked her in the eye and said in a hushed voice, “Have the wine. It’s free.” Her path was set! If her mom were here now, she’d certainly take some credit for Patty’s start in the restaurant business and how she enjoys sharing her passion for great wine.
In addition to an early introduction in wine culture, Patty also grew up with dogs as part of the family. So it was only natural that she adopted her first Rottweiler “Harley” in her early 20’s. She would be the first of many Rotties that Patty has loved over the years. Along with her “partner in wine” Keith, their love of wine and Rottweilers was the inspiration for the name Rott n’ Grapes. They currently have 2 Rotties: “Onyx” and “Dolcetta” – both names wine-inspired.
One of Patty’s proudest achievements since Rott n’ Grapes’ inception is the wine club. Not only has Rott n’ Grapes brought great wine to many Phoenicians, it has also brought a great many Phoenicians together … yes, to drink great wine. Their club memberships hover around 50 with 2 tasting events each month – one at each location. In the few years they’ve been in business, Rott n’ Grapes has witnessed people who have lived in close proximity to each other but have never met, become friends, confidants and even engaged/married – all because they met at Rott n’ Grapes. When asked what sets them apart from the competition, it’s simply, “Maintain a friendly and authentic atmosphere where everyone feels like they’re ‘Norm’. Be knowledgeable about the quality products being delivered without being a snob about it. Oh! And always have FUN! Cheers!”