Chef Mark Tarbell Re-Opening Sportsman's Fine Wines and Spirits in Phoenix This Fall

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Mark Tarbell
On the heels of the announcement that Sportsman's Fine Wines & Spirits in Phoenix is shuttering at the end of August comes news of a more positive sort -- its salvation via Valley chef-legend Mark Tarbell, whose restaurant, Tarbell's, is right next door.

A combination wine bar and liquor boutique, Sportsman's is known for its offerings of more than 3,000 brands of wine, an extensive selection of single malt scotches, and top-shelf spirits from all over the world. It also features a comfortable in-house bar and small-plate bistro as well as a staff of friendly and knowledgeable sommeliers.

Here's what Tarbell has in store for Sportsman's.

See also:
- Don't Trust Anyone Who Doesn't Drink Wine (Or, Why Sam Pillsbury Hates Surfers)
- Wine Distribution 101

According to the Republic, Tarbell will continue to operate Sportsman's as a retail space and wine bar, will work with chef Matthew Fenton, executive chef of Tarbell's, to develop a new menu for the space, and expects to re-open around the first of November.

"I love history and tradition, and there's very little of that left in Phoenix," Tarbell told the Republic. "(Sportsman's) has got good bones. It's the only space in the whole center that's been there since it opened."

Located at 3205 East Camelback Road (at the Southeast corner of 32nd Street and Camelback), Sportsman's originated as a corner liquor store in the 1950s. The shop changed ownership in the late 1960s and then again in 1987, when its focus shifted to wine, spirits, and scotch.

Edward Basha III, president and CEO of Bashas', confirmed that closure last week. The Arizona-based, family-owned grocery chain, acquired Sportsman's in 2007.

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Sportsman's Fine Wines & Spirits

10893 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ

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9 comments
deaconbluebatchelor
deaconbluebatchelor

I am so happy this is happening. I worked for Sportsmans for a few years, as well as Tarbells for a short time, and as a former employee of both I was shocked to hear it was closing, and elated that Tarbell was going to take it over. As a smart business man, and a wine enthusiast, he will do the brand justice in a way that Bashas never could. I can't wait to see what is going to happen!

Margo Kesler
Margo Kesler

The neighborhood is very happy, thanks Mark!

jliven23
jliven23

Great news! Tarbells is such a go-to spot for a guaranteed great meal...also my favorite bar to dine at. Mark Tarbell is ALWAYS there which is great to see. I've long admired how instead of having 30 decent restaurants, he keeps it small (he has something in Colorado right?) and exceptional. I hope he can do the same at Sportsman's...and glad to know he'll still be as present at Tarbells since they share a wall.

Alicia Crumpton
Alicia Crumpton

YAY! Thanks for saving a local business and awesome place!

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

The capitalist economy is what causes history to be discarded.  Companies are bought and sold, names are changed and property re-purposed due to these almost daily changes.   It is not the function of government to stop this exchange.  If you look at the government owned buildings and native american tribes - that history is pretty stable.  Please make the distinction when lamenting the loss of history in Central Arizona. 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

Good for him.  He's right that Phx seems to have very little retained history so it is good that he is trying to honor that by re-establishing this instution.  Hope he is successful.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

I don't think anyone in the artical said that it was the function of government to preserve commercial history.  I think that's why he's stepping in to do so as a commercial venture, and in doing so he can trade on the goodwill and brand value that Sportsmans has developed over the years to succeed in our capitalist economy.  Regretting that there is a lack of a historical base and saying that it is a government function to preserve it are two very different things..

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