V’s Taproom one year later:

How BlueStar Resort & Golf transformed a sleepy golf grill into bustling neighborhood hotspot

When Shea Homes opened the Verde Grill restaurant adjacent to Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia near the entrance to its Trilogy Vistancia community, things went about as well as expected. The restaurant primarily served club members and daily-fee guests, offering up high-quality, but fairly standard golf fare. Yet, its appeal didn’t penetrate far beyond the club’s boundaries.

Sensing an opportunity to make the restaurant a more vital part of the overall community, Tim Steckbeck, President of BlueStar Resort & Golf (the operators of Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia) challenged his team in mid-2012 to transform the Verde Grill into a signature culinary experience. The challenge was part and parcel of the BlueStar approach.

In many ways, the Scottsdale-based boutique management company operates against industry norms. For example, rather than allowing its F&B venues to function at a loss because “it’s an amenity and that’s how it is done,” Steckbeck and team take an owner/operator approach to drive business and maintain bottom-line discipline, knowing clients are well within their rights to expect more from their management group.

To do so, Steckbeck has assembled an executive group at BlueStar that represent expertise in a wide array of industries and disciplines – from resort and restaurant operations to golf course and landscape management, many from industry leaders and iconic destinations. With regards to F&B operations, Steckbeck and BlueStar’s National Food & Beverage Director, Steve Rosa, have opened and managed more than 70 restaurants during their careers.

On the surface, the vision for rebranding Verde Grill was simple:  remake the golf course’s de facto restaurant into a popular stand-alone operation that feels current and happening and holds broad appeal throughout the area. The quest culminated in the opening of V’s Taproom in early January 2014, and one year later, the results couldn’t be more impressive. During its first 11 months in operation, V’s revenues were up $750,000 as compared to the same period the previous year when operating as Verde Grill. Moreover, it has truly become a gathering place and hub of activity for all of Vistancia, as well as the neighboring Peoria, Arizona communities. In fact, wait times for tables on Friday nights routinely run an hour or more, and the restaurant has attracted patrons ranging from business executives, neighborhood home owners, young couples and groups of friends.

“I couldn’t be more proud of what our team has accomplished at V’s Taproom,” said Steckbeck. “I gave them a fairly daunting task – transforming a successful, but not spectacular restaurant operation into something truly special. They took to the challenge with great enthusiasm and have surpassed even my lofty expectations. V’s is simply fabulous.”

Rosa led the transformation. He recruited Mark Nelson, a successful restauranteur with more than 25 years’ experience, to serve as General Manager of V’s Taproom, as well as Executive Chef Bobby Henningsen. “With Shea Homes’ support, we were able to give the restaurant a complete makeover,” said Rosa. “We assembled an experienced and proven restaurant team, and developed a concept the entire neighborhood enjoys. We strive to provide a memorable, consistent experience for our guests, and they show their support by their loyal and frequent patronage.”

The restaurant and tavern serves up an eclectic blend of inventive dishes with 16 craft-brewed beers on tap and a casual, yet sophisticated ambiance that’s sure to bring patrons from throughout the area.

“It’s a relaxed, upscale gathering place that offers exceptional high-quality fare in an environment with real character and charm where our guests can dine, drink and relax,” said Rosa. “Shea Homes has given us a wonderful location with spectacular views and easy access just off the Loop 303. V’s is a comfortable relaxing gathering spot for lunch, dinner, happy hour or date night.”

V’s menu features fresh, locally sourced ingredients with items made from scratch daily. Selections range from the delicious Kale Veggie Salad to the restaurant’s signature “Millionaire Burger” and four-hour braised short rib “street-style” tacos. Pasta dishes include Shrimp & Angel Hair Pasta, Tagliatelle Bolognese and Basil Chicken Pasta. There’s even a showcase Pizza Bar where V’s pizza artisans prepare fresh, gourmet pizzas while guests watch.

In addition to national favorites, V’s Taproom offers a wide selection of craft and locally brewed beers as well as a gluten-free cider. The restaurant also offers a selection of wines on tap from One Hope Wines from the Central Coast of California. In addition to providing an exceptional product, One Hope also gives back to society by directing 50 percent of the profits to benefit groups that fight breast cancer and childhood autism.

The ambiance is set with upscale, intimate booth seating around unique butcher-block style tables made of indigenous Arizona mesquite wood. Large windows bring in natural light and beautiful views of the golf course and desert beyond. A large indoor-outdoor bar leads to an expansive patio while multiple flat-screen televisions (including a massive 70-inch set) allow for comfortable viewing both indoors and out.

V’s Taproom is located adjacent to the Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia near the Loop 303 and Vistancia Blvd.

Crafted by renowned Arizona golf course architect Gary Panks, Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia’s championship-caliber golf course plays to 7,259 yards and is accented by tall native grasses as well as breathtaking views of the surrounding desert and nearby mountains. Making strong use of the natural flow of the terrain, Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia rewards careful planning and precise execution. However, the design is flexible enough to be enjoyable for players of all abilities.

Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia is located in Peoria, Arizona, and is proud to be among the network of Shea Homes-owned golf facilities throughout the American West. Operated by BlueStar Resort and Golf, Trilogy at Vistancia is proud to offer its guests an exceptional golf experience each and every day. For more information or tee times, please call 623.328.5100 or visit www.TrilogyGolfClub.com/Vistancia.

For more information on making Trilogy your home, visit www.TrilogyLife.com/Vistancia.