Phoenix's newest IHOP features a menu unlike any other, but not because of its food. The location is the first standalone International House of Pancakes in the country to feature a full-service bar, ABC15 reported. The chain's only other locations to offer pancakes and booze are in airports.
The restaurant had its grand opening in the Camelback Colonnade shopping plaza last Friday, which was celebrated by offering a free short stack of pancakes to customers from 10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. According to their Facebook page, they will continue the celebration by offering $5 Sangria for the entire week through October 19.
The new location opened in what was formerly a Lone Star Steakhouse. Since bar facilities were already available, franchise owner Romulus Restaurant Group pitched the idea to corporate.
"The chain got on board with the plan, even diving in to help collaborate on the drinks menu, and history was made," Food & Wine reported.
The Phoenix IHOP features a specially crafted "Rise and Shine" bar menu that will be served from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, AZ Central reported. It includes four domestic beers on tap, three California wines and about a dozen brunch-inspired cocktails. They will also be pouring the local O.H.S.O. Brewery's coffee-infused Morning Brew blonde ale.
Cocktails include the Mulemosa, Blue Roof Bloody Mary and the Frozen Rooty Rita, ABC15 reported. The Mulemosa is inspired by both the Moscow Mule and mimosa and is made with Regatta Ginger beer, sparkling wine and a splash of orange juice. The Blue Roof Bloody Mary features a Tajin rim, celery, olives, and hickory-smoked bacon, while the Frozen Rooty Rita is a blended margarita with strawberry puree.
While the newly-opened Phoenix location is the only one of the chain with a cocktail menu, IHOP has already been involved in the beer world. The IHOPS Pumpkin Pancake Stout "pairs the flavor of pumpkin and seasonal spices with IHOP's World Famous Buttermilk pancakes into a rich, smooth stout" using none other than pancake mix, Food & Wine reported last month. It was brewed by Kingston, New York-based Keegan Ales and made its debut on September 29 at the Bacon and Beer Classic in Flushing, New York.
"Some of our most successful innovations over the last 60 years have started with our franchisees bringing ideas forward. In this instance, our Phoenix-area franchisee found a unique opportunity for the market and worked closely with the brand to incorporate a bar into a bold, new restaurant design while staying true to what guests love about IHOP," said IHOP spoweswoman STephanie Peterson.
"I'd also add that everything we do at IHOP is about flipping expectations. We're constantly testing and refining ideas, trialing new menu items and experiences, so that we're delivering on what our guests want. A special Rise N Shine Bar menu with brunch-inspired cocktails, craft beers and wine is available exclusively at the Camelback IHOP in Phoenix along with the full menu of IHOP favorites -- from our Original Buttermilk Pancakes to Ultimate Steakburgers and everything in between."There are no plans yet to incorporate bars into other locations of the pancake chain, though it is not out of the question.
"We think it's time to test how a bar goes along with our brunch, lunch and dinner items," Romulus President and COO Chris Sumners said, according to Food & Wine. He also added he would consider adding a bar to all of his franchises.