Copper Still goes eclectic on spirits, spicy foods SanTan Sun News

Copper Still goes eclectic on spirits, spicy foods

Copper Still goes eclectic on spirits, spicy foods
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By COLLEEN SPARKS

Contributor

People craving entrees and appetizers that go beyond the typical bar fare can indulge in an unusual, eclectic mix of flavorful meals at Copper Still Moonshine Grill in two locations.

Copper Still Moonshine Grill opened at 2531 S. Gilbert Road in Gilbert four years ago, and their second location opened in November 2017 at 7450 W. Chandler Blvd.

The two locally owned restaurants are the top seller of Ole Smoky Moonshine in Arizona, Chuck Smeriglio, co-owner of the restaurants said. He and Stephen Wipf also own the Gilbert restaurant along with their wives, Amy Smeriglio and Raquel Wipf.

Chuck works primarily at the Chandler location while Stephen spends most of his time at the Gilbert restaurant.

“We’re kind of unique in we have items you won’t find in other American bars and grills,” Chuck said. “We do sell a ton of food. People always say, ‘This is not bar food.’ We’ve been cooking our whole lives.”

He and Stephen are longtime restaurant industry veterans who had previously worked at another business together.

“We decided we wanted to open up our own place,” Chuck said. “We thought moonshine was the next up and coming spirit. We fill a niche people really like.”

Copper Still Moonshine Grill is a family affair as Chuck and Amy’s son, Trevor, 24; is a manager at the Chandler restaurant, and their son, Hayden, 22, is a bartender at the Gilbert location.

Chuck’s niece, Madison, is a server at the Gilbert Copper Still Moonshine Grill. Stephen and Raquel’s son, Ethan, had worked at the Chandler and Gilbert restaurants until he started college.

“It really is family-owned and operated,” Chuck said. “We consider our staff family.”

The owners also support the community.

Copper Still benefits charities by hosting poker nights, golf tournaments and kickback nights (where proceeds from food and drink sales benefit entities).

Their events benefit local breast cancer facilities; Gompers, a nonprofit that develops innovative opportunities for people with disabilities; area schools, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC).

“Me and Stephen really feel like we are really fortunate,” Chuck said. “We try to support local businesses, too. We want to give back.”

Many people have expressed their appreciation for Copper Still Moonshine Grill on Facebook.

“We just had lunch here today for the first time,” Char Plevyak posted on Copper Still Moonshine Grill’s Gilbert location Facebook page. “The food was excellent, I recommend the shrimp tacos. The service, prices, environment and overall experience was great as well. We will definitely be coming back!!”

Amy M. Fiala also is a fan of Copper Still Moonshine Grill. She shared her praise on the restaurant’s Gilbert Facebook page.

“I went to Copper Still last night for the first time,” Fiala said. “Wow! What a refreshingly awesome place!!! The food is great! I loved having a black bean burger option. But it’s the staff that really shined!!!!”

She added that the staff members were fun, professional and courteous, as well as “on top of their game.”

Among unique menu offerings is a chicken poblano penne pasta with chicken sautéed in a roasted poblano cream sauce served over penne pasta, garnished with tomatoes, parmesan cheese and cilantro paired with a garlic baguette.

A different take on Mexican staples are the chipotle moonshine chicken tacos. They have Chipotle Moonshine marinated chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, chipotle ranch and fresh limes.

“It’s a very unique flavor,” Smeriglio said.

Chicken fajita tacos, as well as sweet Sriracha chicken, shrimp and fish tacos are also on the menu.

Diners can expect lots of spices in appetizers and burgers.

While many restaurants and bars serve jalapeno bites, Copper Still Moonshine Grill offers a beefier version of the popular appetizer with jalapeno boats filled with hand-stuffed bacon, cream cheese and cheddar cheese that are fried in house-made beer batter.

All the produce at Copper Still Moonshine Grill comes from Willie Itule Produce, Inc. in Phoenix. The bread is made fresh at Capistrano’s in Phoenix and the restaurant uses meat from Midwestern Meats, a butcher in Mesa.

Copper Still Moonshine Grill lives up to its name with many different flavors of moonshine, as well as numerous house drinks that have moonshine in them.

One popular drink is The Peach Pit, a concoction with Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine, Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, Sprite and a splash of orange juice served in a mason jar.

The fruity house drink Orange Moonshine Margarita has Ole Smoky Big Orange Moonshine, triple sec, sweet and sour, a splash of orange juice and fresh lime.

The restaurant’s Copper Mule blends Ole Smoky White Lightnin’ Moonshine, Regatta ginger beer and a muddled orange served in a copper mug. A great summer drink is the Hunch Punch Chiller, a mix of Ole Smoky Hunch Punch, lemonade, cranberry juice and Sprite, Chuck said.

The restaurant also offers more than 23 different whiskeys and bourbons, including Copper City Bourbon, made from locally grown grain and corn created by Arizona Distilling Company in Tempe.

Rittenhouse Rye gives customers a fruitier taste with scents of peaches and bananas, that strikes the palate with white pepper and spice, according to the menu.

Customers can sip lots of locally made brews including Four Peaks Brewing Company’s Kilt Lifter, a Scottish-style ale; Four Peaks’ 8th Street Pale Ale; Huss Brewing Company’s Copper State IPA, as well as Pedal Haus and SanTan Brewing Company’s beers.

La Vida Rita has Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine, as well as triple sec, sweet and sour, float of Grand Mariner, served on the rocks with salt.

Clyne is the lead singer and a guitarist in the legendary group Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. Copper Still Moonshine Grill carries all three of his Mexican Moonshine brands.

It’s easy to catch deals at Copper Still Moonshine Grill, which has from 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

During happy hour, customers can order a small domestic draft for $3 and a large one for $4.25, as well as a small premium draft for $4.25 and a large premium draft for $5.50. Moonshine is $5.25 during happy hour.

Cheeseburger sliders are $2.75 each and diners can get $2 off each for several foods including hummus, garlic French fries, nachos and mozzarella sticks.

Also every week for “Moonshine Mondays,” guests can get $4 moonshine and $2 off a dozen chicken wings.

Every week customers can take advantage of “Whiskey Wednesday,” where children ages 10 and under eat free and whiskeys and bourbons are $4.75 each. A combination of two cheeseburger sliders and six chicken wings are $9.95 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Copper Still Moonshine Grill makes it easy to stay entertained while eating lunch or dinner and enjoying moonshine and other drinks.

The Chandler restaurant has 28 big screen televisions ideal for watching football and other games. Customers can participate in Jack Trivia Fridays starting at 8 p.m. Fridays and Team Trivia Wednesdays beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Texas Hold’em tournaments are held starting at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, at 8 and 11 p.m. Fridays; at 7 and 10 p.m. Saturdays and at 7 p.m. Sundays.

The Texas Hold’em winner gets $50 while the second- and third-place participants receive gift cards to the restaurant.

“We have a little bit for everybody,” Smeriglio said. “Ladies night out, happy hour. Every Wednesday kids eat free. Teenagers come in, they love the food.”

Football fans can get breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays during football season. About 15 different breakfast foods, including biscuits and gravy and breakfast tacos, are offered.

Copper Still Moonshine Grill is located at 7450 W. Chandler Blvd. and it is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays.

During football season the restaurant opens at 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Information: chandler.copperstillmoonshinegrillaz.com

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