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Check Out The New Monkey On the Block

Article Kathleen Blair | Photography Lorri Craig

Little did Renny Mitchell know when growing up just down the street, that he’d some- day be the Operating Partner of the newest neighborhood bistro and brewery at Scottsdale Road and Indian Bend.

As a commercial real estate agent and a former mortgage banker for 27 years, Mitchell always had a passion for cooking and entertaining and a secret dream of someday owning his own restaurant. He got serious in pursuing a career in the food industry as a former chef to professional NFL athletes in the Valley where he’d prepare menus that would be nutritionally sound to meet the athletes’ training requirements. These had to be meals that were easily heated up, and also delicious to eat.

Word caught on and Mitchell quickly became in demand cooking for 17 athletes. Many who tasted Mitchell’s food commented that he needed to open a restaurant.

Then one evening while he was out with his friend Don Norris, his dream started to take shape and become a reality. The choice was, do they start a brand new restaurant from the ground up, or do they open a restaurant that has a proven track record of good food, casual atmosphere and a local gathering place? That’s when Mitchell’s friend, and now partner, decided to expand on the success of his newly acquired Tucson establishment and open a Scottsdale location.

It looks like the made a wise decision. It took five months to find the right location and only 40 days to transcend the existing Mexican motif to a neighborhood bistro. Experienced employees were hired into the Nimbus family and a Chef de Cuisine was brought on, Jason Barber.

Nimbus American Bistro & Brewery opened up in March 2012 at a premier spot in the Seville shopping plaza. This prime location has a fabulous patio that seats over 100 and a relaxed indoor atmosphere with seating of 200 plus, including a private dining room for network meetings, parties and family celebrations. Nimbus is a casual, friendly bistro that is the perfect spot for all ages. A crowd pleaser for after-work “happy hour”; a spot to eat after the little league game with your family; a great patio for lunch with the “girls”; the perfect place for the night cap after a movie or play; and a great watering hole for the guys to watch their favorite team. In fact, everyone is sure to know your name if you become a member of the Nimbus Mug Club, featuring a new stein each year. You simply purchase one of the Nimbus beer mugs and they’ll keep it for you so every time you come in, you’ll get your mug plus enjoy beer at happy-hour prices all year long.

How It All Began
Originally, Nimbus got its start in Tucson when brewmaster and owner, Nimbus Cousins, opened up his brewery in 1996. A few years later, in 2000, Jim Counts purchased the brewery and in 2009 added the Bistro. Currently, the nationally acclaimed brewery produces eight beers – six regular Blonde, Pilsner, Red, Brown, Pale, Oatmeal Stout, and two seasonal beers – Monkey Shine and Nimbus Seasonal. Nimbus has been producing many award-winning beers with the most recent honor given by Food & Wine Magazine rating them Arizona’s #1 Brewery.

With a large menu that would please anyone, you won’t be disappointed with your selection. Mitchell says it’s “all about the sauce.” Nimbus is known for their delicious sauces which include their award winning beer. Even their signature homemade soft pretzels have a little Nimbus beer added for that extra special flavor! And, you haven’t tasted onion rings or had fish and chips until you’ve had them at Nimbus with their signature beer batter. Mitchell is proud to share that, “all the ingredients are fresh, nothing frozen.” The burgers are made of fresh Certified Angus Beef, with no hormones, additives or antibiotics.

Tempting Menu Selections
Some signature items on their large menu include Monkey Burn appetizers (fresh jalapeno slices, lightly battered then fried and served with cream cheese; Creamy Onion Ale soup (topped with homemade pretzel bites); Nimbus Oatmeal Stout BBQ Pork Sandwich (slow cooked pork served on an egg Kaiser roll topped with coleslaw and tumbleweed onions); Nimbus Club (three slices of grilled Texas toast layered with thinly sliced ham, turkey, Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo); Nimbus BYOB (Burger) – too delicious to describe; Nimbus Clam Bake and a Mac ‘N’ Cheese Pizza – a must for everyone to experience! The children’s menu includes a make-your-own pizza dough and fixings, so little ones can build their own pizza before it’s baked and ready for them to eat. And, they even receive a little monkey toy “favor” to take home. And, for your four-legged companion, who may be joining you on the patio, there’s even a complimentary Nimbus Monkey Biscuit, made with peanut butter, whole-wheat, banana and honey.

So, What’s With The Monkey?
Don’t be scared if you see a black monkey walking around. He’s the Nimbus chimp and he’s making sure everyone is having a good time. And, you can’t help but notice the beer label, patio hangings and “monkey” wall prints. Story has it that Jim Counts, was so busy creating his first bottles to be distributed, he didn’t give much thought to picking out a label design. So when the beer was ready to be bottled, his printer told him he needed a design right way. He hurriedly chose on of the working designs and brought it to the printer who refused to make the label with Count’s design. The printer was so adamant about printing a different label for the new beer, he commented, “Even a monkey would look better than that.” And, the Nimbus monkey was born.

So, the next time you’re thinking of venturing out for a bite to eat and a cold glass of craft beer, give Nimbus a try. I guarantee you’ll be telling all your friends to meet you there! And, it’s a good thing “Cheers” isn’t around anymore because it would have some stiff competition from this neighborhood gathering place, “Where every mug knows your name!”

Nimbus American Bistro and Brewery is open seven days a week – Sun-Wed, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Thurs 11 a.m.–12 a.m.; Fri and Sat-11 a.m.–1 a.m. Happy Hour – DAILY 3–7 p.m. and a Reverse Happy Hour Fri and Sat 10 p.m. – closing. Prices range from $5 to $19.

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