News about bars in Central Phoenix is typically similar to blockbuster movie trailers – we know so far in advance that we are constantly lamenting the unopened doors, imagining the delicious cocktails and lively conversations we are not having because of the construction delays. Ironically this period of intense complaining did not occur for The Whining Pig. Instead, this tiny wine and beer bar opened abruptly. One day it was a tattoo parlor, and the next it was filled with local imbibists (yes, I made up this word. Those who imbibe.)
Joe and I noticed the sign and scrambled to try and find time to get there. We pride ourselves in being one of the first people to find a new hangout, and were slightly panicked that one of our less-child-infested friends might beat us out. We read the Yelp reviews (which are all quite positive) and juggled our calendar.
We made it! I was not only pleased to finally get there, but to know that when I finally had a conversation with my friend Mark I could speak intelligently about the place. He is equally as fascinated with the local eating and drinking scene as I am, and we spend a great deal of our friendship judging the changes that are afoot. (We are both excited about Baby Kay’s coming to the corner of 16th and Bethany, and have discussed at length what they are possibly going to do about parking. It’s already a nightmare and I sometimes have to skip my trip to Luci’s in the morning because of this limitation. Mark’s theory is they will have to work out a deal with the office complex next door. But lunch will still be an issue no matter.)
There is a lot to like about The Whining Pig. A lot. I am most impressed with the fact that Greg – the owner – has been smart about his choices. He knows what he is trying to be – a small shop, low overhead, repeat business, and great drinks. He doesn’t have a kitchen, so snacks are limited to a meat and cheese plate and delicious looking desserts. When someone orders food, Greg’s dad goes in the back to chop and prepare the plate.
The menu – written in chalk on the wall – is extensive compared to the size of the room. Now that we’ve been back a few times I typically just tell Greg what I feel like and he picks something for me. Our last trip over he poured me a white blend from France that I’m still dreaming about.
Those pennies on the bar were assembled by Greg and his wife. I didn’t get a photo of the pig they created, but it is impressive.
I hope you’ve had a chance to make it over as well. But if not I wouldn’t worry, Greg and his pig will be around for awhile.