• Diana Brandt

UnderTow Upcoming Pop-Up at Hotel Valley Ho


UnderTow, the award-winning exotic cocktail bar from Barter & Shake Creative Hospitality, will host a two-month-long "Best of Menus Past" pop-up cocktail bar in a former Trader Vic's location at Hotel Valley Ho while preparing to open its new location.


Internationally acclaimed exotic cocktail bar, UnderTow, is moving. Located since its opening in August of 2016 beneath Sip Coffee and Beer Garage, UnderTow will be moving next door into the building occupied by Barter & Shake’s Century Grand, and its two concepts, Platform 18 and The Grey Hen Rx.


Like many bars and restaurants in the Phoenix area, UnderTow was closed from mid-March through late September due to COVID mandates. This hiatus allowed the management team to pause and plan for the future. Barter & Shake co-owner and Director of Operations Rich Furnari explains, "UnderTow has a strong following, and we always wanted to have a little more space to accommodate additional guests and larger parties, all without compromising the intimate guest experience. With UnderTow’s lease ending in 2020, and our difficult decision to permanently close the restaurant element of Century Grand, there was a prime opportunity to re-locate UnderTow into a larger space in the same geographic neighborhood. In addition, the more flexible physical infrastructure in the new location will allow us to continue to offer our guests the most advanced and enjoyable immersive environment for years to come.”


All Photo Credit Grace Stufkosky


UnderTow’s final day in its Sip location was December 23, 2020. Construction is actively underway, but UnderTow’s new home likely won’t be ready until early March 2021. In the interim, co-owners Rich Furnari and Jason Asher have been seeking to bridge the gap for UnderTow’s guests and staff by offering a pop-up version of UnderTow. Furnari shares, "We have been working diligently with The Hotel Valley Ho's Food & Beverage Director, Andre Nicholson, and his team, to coordinate an UnderTow pop-up until our new location is ready to open. One of our top priorities is to allow our staff to keep working. It's been a hard year of income uncertainty for many people, especially hospitality professionals, and the management team at Hotel Valley Ho understands that and shares the same perspective that we do. They have been terrific to work with as we jointly plan what we expect will be a nostalgic and memorable experience.”


UnderTow's pop-up theme will be "Best of Menus Past," highlighting their top-selling (and mostly retired) signature cocktails. Other additions include limited food options, potential local Phoenix chef pop-ups showcasing various local chefs and their restaurants, décor from local tropical/tiki artists, and the potential for a Sunday market with on-site live carvings. The pop-up is scheduled to operate for eight weeks, Thursday through Sunday, with a few blackout days. Located inside the Sands venue at Hotel Valley Ho, this location served until July 2011 as Trader Vic's, a popular Polynesian-themed restaurant. The pop-up plans to launch Thursday, January 14, and conclude in early March.