Half Moon Sports Grill on Highland Re-Opens With Chicago Theme and Updated Name
The new Half Moon “Windy City” Sports Grill celebrates its grand re-opening on Oct. 10.
PHOENIX (September 13, 2013) – As much as Chicago transplants love their adopted home in Arizona, there’s something about that city that runs deep in the veins. That’s why Half Moon Sports Grill in the Biltmore area is now Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill, complete with Chicago décor and authentic menu items.
The party: A grand re-opening party is slated for all day Oct. 10, and that evening, the Chicago Bears and New York Giants will battle it out on the field. The public is invited to enjoy $1 Old Style cans in paper bags (the way they drink it outside of Wrigley Field), $3 Goose Island beers and $5 personal pizzas made the Chicago way – with a thin cracker crust and sweet sauce, based on a third-generation family recipe. Also, when the Bears score a touchdown, the bar will sell $2.50 blue-and-orange “Bears” shots.
All day, guests can purchase $5 raffle tickets to win a personal pizza every day for a year. Proceeds will benefit Young Life Arizona, chosen by Jerry Colangelo, whose name graces one of the bar’s two private rooms. Colangelo, who hails from Chicago and has been a moving force in Arizona sports for decades, gave his blessing to rename one of the private rooms after him, and a plaque will be installed in his honor.
The feel: Chicago natives will cheer when they see the new Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill. The bar closed Aug. 17 and re-opened Aug. 29 after a floor-to-ceiling remodel. Lighter hardwood floors and more natural light brighten the space, and additional banquette seating is ideal for family night out.
Look for poignant, funny and irreverent quotes about the city on the walls and server’s uniforms. You’ll see unforgettable lines such as, “He was like Moby Dick in a goldfish bowl,” as NFL Films Producer Steve Sabol said of Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus.
Images of the Windy City are prominent throughout the bar and dining room, along with family photos of childhood in Chicago courtesy of co-owner Clay Moizo. Roll-down shades displaying the Chicago skyline will separate the bar from the dining room later at night for a more intimate ambiance. When the shades come down, a Chicago-themed song will play over the sound system. And Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill will be Game Day Central for any sports fans, thanks to a full upgrade with 32 new HD TVs, a new audiovisual system and games on TV with sound every Sunday.
Climate-controlled patios with misters, fire pits and heaters make it possible to gloat to friends and family back home that you’re watching “Da Bears” or the beloved Cubbies al fresco. Also, Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill is ideal for parties or corporate events, thanks to two private rooms: the Colangelo Room, seating up to 50, with full audiovisual capability, and United Center, seating up to 30, with shuffleboard, a pool table, a 70-inch HD flat screen and bar-height tables and chairs. There’s no rental fee; reservations are first-come, first-serve.
The food: Fans of Chicago food will root for the new menu, featuring favorites like real Vienna beef Chicago dogs with all of the traditional toppings and poppy seed buns flown in from S. Rosen’s; comforting Italian beef sandwiches on hoagie buns from Alpha Baking Company in Chicago; and Eli’s Cheesecake, also “imported” from Chicagoland. Chef Marlene Portillo tweaked Moizo’s third-generation pizza sauce recipe for the Chicago thin-crust pizzas with dough made in-house daily. Breakfast is served from 9 a.m. to noon on weekends during football season. The award-winning wings, juicy burgers and other popular items Half Moon fans have come to love are still there, too.
The drinks: Goose Island craft beers from Chicago and $2 Old Style cans share the bill with locals like Four Peaks, SanTan Brewing Company and Sonoran Brewing. A new Chi-town themed cocktail menu features the South Side, North Side, Chizona Cooler and Chicago Shandy. Happy hours from 3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 p.m. to close daily (a big hit with hospitality industry workers in the area) round out the offerings. PDFs of the menus and drinks lists are available on request and online at: http://halfmoonsportsgrill.com/menu-windycity.php.
The back story: Icon Hospitality Group (IHG), which owns and runs the two Half Moon Sports Grills in Phoenix, decided to renovate the location on Highland Avenue with a Chicago theme and rechristen it Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill. After 10 successful and award-winning years in business, they looked to their roots for inspiration and found it in their unabated love of their hometown. Clay Moizo, director of operations, and Laura Fettig, director of purchasing, both are among the lucky souls who are “Chicago born, Arizona bred,” as their business cards read. The third member of IHG is Don Talbot, director of design and concept development, who agreed that a Chicago sports bar was just the ticket to freshen up the brand. The Half Moon on East Greenway Parkway and Third Street will remain the original concept. IHG also owns and operates Scramble, A Breakfast Joint, in Sunnyslope.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; kitchen open until midnight daily
Address: 2121 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix