No spousal duo has done more to ignite and continually stoke Scottsdale’s nightclub scene than Diane & Les Corieri. Their Evening Entertainment Group stars an ultra lounge (inside a former bank), a pizzeria/beer garden, an all-day gastropub (with a balcony), a day-and-night club (centered on a swimming pool), a retro lounge, a venue for touring music/comedy acts, and more. Diane discusses how she and Les make their various scenes.
How many people do you employ?
Are your children involved in Evening Entertainment Group?
Yes, both of our adult boys are currently working at EEG locations and have been since they were in high school.
Do you have any “sanity rules” against talking about work at home?
For the sake of our daughter, who still lives at home, we try not to talk about work at dinner or in general when she is around, because Les & I can get pretty lost in it.
What are some of the ways the two of you stay healthy and fit while working an industry that’s steeped in bad habits and mischievous behavior?
Les works out about five days a week and I get [to the gym] about two times a week. We try to eat healthy, but spoil ourselves with chocolate and red wine on occasion.
Did you have business mentors when you began this career? Are there people in the industry that you admire or emulate today?
Les was fortunate in that his father gave him a good solid start in the business at a very young age. For me, I have had many, many different jobs leading up to my career at EGG, along with a degree in graphic design & business. As far as mentors, I did always admire Miss Kitty on the “Gunsmoke” TV show. She was an in-charge kind of gal.
When you travel, where do you often go, and is it work-related or pure leisure?
This year it has pretty much been all work-related. I love Italy and would live there year-round if I could. We also love Idaho, but I don’t want to tell anyone where we go, because not too many people go there and we want to keep it that way! To preserve our sanity, we try to take a month off in the summers and go somewhere. And I have never been to Asia, so that is on my bucket list.
Do you get business ideas—intentionally or coincidentally—when you travel?
Everything gives me ideas. I love to explore and see new things.
What percentage of your patrons actually eat in your nightclubs? It can be hard to remember to eat when in such stimulating environments.
You would be surprised. Both Sandbar Mexican Grill locations serve lunch, dinner and late-night, with brunch served on the weekends. RnR’s clientele is mostly there for the food first and the drinks second. Even our locations in the downtown entertainment district—Bottled Blonde, Hi Fi, and our latest endeavor, Bevvy—all have great happy-hour and late-night dining crowds. That’s why were dedicated to making sure all food is house-made, from the pizza dough to the pastas, sauces, etc.
How many nightclubs constitute a decent district or “scene”? Where is Scottsdale on this scale right now?
I think now we could say we have a great district considering we are running out of room to put places. The synergy is amazing, and being able to have dinner, go to a concert and walk to a venue and dance afterward is really unique. We are becoming a destination and entertainment location.
Many of your venues are indoor/outdoor, and that requires “climate-controlling” the outdoors. How complicated is that?
It’s not very exciting, but we still use the traditional outdoor heaters in the winter and big swamp-like coolers in the summer. That year-round outdoor [lifestyle] is really a big part of the appeal of being here in the Valley and it’s important to offer that to our guests.
What musical acts would you love to be able to bring to Livewire?
James Brown, Guster and G Love & Special Sauce. Did I mention that Kid Rock is always welcome? We had Jeff Bridges at Livewire and he gave an amazing performance that I could watch over and over.
What nightlife category has EEG not experimented with yet?
Wow, I think we have tried everything at least once. Someone once asked us to create something that would appeal to the retired community, but I think we will wait a few years for that one.
What locally underrepresented cuisine would you like to pioneer at some point?
Let’s just say, I love food. Barbecue is something we haven’t done, but I think we’ll leave that to the experts. It’s quite an art and only for the very patient. Right now we are working on a modern sort of English menu for Bevvy, so that will be our newest food endeavor.
This story appears in the 2015-16 edition of Where GuestBook Arizona.