Char Kitchen + Bar, located at Hilton Village in Scottsdale is a neighborhood grill with light Mediterranean influences.
At Char, three industry veterans — Peter Micakaj, along with his son, Pal Micakaj, and daughter, Pauline Martinez — hope to offer the combination of casual, inexpensive fare and familiar service that have typified their family’s restaurants for decades.
Owned by father and son Peter and Pal Micakaj who combined have several decades of restaurant experience, Char Kitchen + Bar’s menu has a nod to their Albanian heritage, with flavors from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. The menu is relatable and filled with incredible dishes for lunch or dinner. Join us nightly for happy hour at 3:00 p.m. And enjoy a drink on the patio. We serve our neighbors as though you are family.
Valley diners will know Martinez as half of the husband-and-wife duo behind Perk Eatery, the popular northeast Phoenix breakfast and lunch joint that Guy Fieri featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2013. But while Martinez will play a supporting role at Char, her father and brother are no strangers to the business.
Just 16 years old when he left Montenegro in the late 1960s, Peter made his home in New York City and immediately went to work in the restaurant industry. He was soon managing three restaurants, and when his family moved to Detroit to build cars, he stuck with food. “In Michigan, he always operated family-style restaurants,” Martinez recalls. “Breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
With Char, the family is bringing a touch of their Eastern European heritage to a menu designed to be comfortable and familiar.
“We decided to make it a local, neighborhood-grill style,” Martinez says, “and the name Char is getting back to the simple preparation of using natural fire to execute proteins and vegetables.”
Grilled items anchor a menu of starters, sandwiches, salads, and mains that combine familiar favorites with Mediterranean touches:
- Classics like grilled rosemary chicken, a Reuben sandwich or spinach salad with Gorgonzola and berries are joined by lamb gyro, chicken skewers with tzatziki and grilled “chicken lollis” with feta cheese and a pomegranate harissa barbecue sauce.
- Burgers can be a classic beef with Cheddar and tomato; or a lamb patty with feta, tomato chutney, and ajvar, a red pepper relish from Eastern Europe.
Martinez stresses Char’s commitment to scratch cooking: “All of our sauces, all of our dressings, all of our marinades. We butcher our meats and our fish comes in whole.”
But Char is intended to walk the line between quality and expense. “We want to price it at a point where people can come back multiple times a week so that it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to get a really great meal,” she adds.
Char is currently serving an abbreviated version of its menu, but the full menu, as well as new signage, should be in place in about a week. The restaurant’s dining room, which was recently renovated, will remain mostly unchanged, and some of the Bink’s staff has stayed on to work at Char.
The family hopes to turn the eatery into a regular haunt for locals, open daily for lunch and dinner.
“There are so many restaurants popping up left and right, but I still feel like there is this charm of a local, family-owned spot that’s missing,” Martinez says. “We really want people to feel like this is their neighborhood spot.”
- Profile Owner: Pal & Peter Micakaj
- Payment Options: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
- Executive Chef: Kevin Binkley
- Accept Walk-ins: Yes
- Children's Menu: Yes
- Dining Style: Sit Down
- Dress Code: Casual
- Happy Hour: 3pm to 6pm
- Outdoor Dinning: Yes
- Parking: Self
- Location: Central Scottsdale
- Working Hours: Monday: 11am - 9:30pmTuesday: 11am - 9:30pmWednesday: 11am - 9:30pmThursday: 11am - 9:30pmFriday: 11am - 10pmSaturday: 11am - 10pmSunday: 10am - 9pm