Explore Phoenix-Scottsdale

Unique Décor: 3 Restaurants To Visit Around Phoenix and Scottsdale

See walls comprised of matchbooks and matchboxes, vintage stereo equipment and cassette tapes.

Décor is integral in creating an overall vibe of a location, and a restaurant is no exception. Some locations hang pictures. Others paint murals. At three Valley locations, the owners took creativity to the next level.

At Windsor, see a wall lined with cassette tapes, while Postino Highland's matchbox/matchbook wall was inspired by a previous tenant of the location. Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails stays true to its theme with a wall of vintage speakers and black and white televisions.

Postino Highland, Scottsdale
One wall is lined with matchboxes/matchbooks at Postino Highland. (Courtesy Postino Highland)

Postino Highland

Speaking with: Lauren Bailey, co-owner of Upward Projects, the restaurant group that owns Postino Highland and Windsor

The wall: Our newest restaurant, Postino Highland, features an entire wall lined in vintage matchbooks and matchboxes, which, when viewed from a distance all blend together to create a quirky, colorful piece of wall art. But much like a pointillism painting where hundreds of dots come together to form a larger whole (think George Seurat’s famous painting, as seen in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”) when you get up close you can make out all the different matchbook details and retro designs.

What was the inspiration behind it? Postino Highland was an adaptive reuse project of a former Valley National Bank, built in 1967 by a prominent local modernist architect. So while researching the original design prior to our remodel, we came across some of the old promotional materials that the bank used back in the 1960s and '70s, including a stamp collecting book and a matchbook, which inspired us to make an entire wall out of vintage matchbooks.   

How were the items collected? We sent out an email blast to our ePosse (Upward Projects’ email list) requesting them to donate their vintage matchbooks in exchange for a gift card. We had a number of people donate their personal collections that they had curated over many years—one gentleman donated a collection he’s been building since he was 16, which included more than 2,000 matchbooks.

Why do you think it makes a statement? Much like Windsor’s cassette tape wall, the matchbooks spark warm memories of when every restaurant worth its salt handed out custom matchbooks as marketing materials/collectibles. What’s cooler than remembering a long-gone restaurant you went to as a kid? Plus, we love the crowd source nature of the project, letting our regular customers contribute a little piece of personal memorabilia that will live on forever at Postino.

4821 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Ariz.; 602.428.4444

Windsor, Phoenix, Arizona
The cassette tape wall at Windsor. (Courtesy Windsor)

Windsor

The wall: Windsor’s signature cassette tape wall is exactly what it sounds like, an entire hallway lined with hundreds of vintage music cassettes, all donated from friends and family from their personal collections, and arranged end to end, top to bottom, to create a retro reel-to-reel vibe.

What was the inspiration behind it? We wanted to highlight the juxtaposition between Windsor’s inviting 'Everyone is Welcome' neighborhood feel, while still making sure it still had some cheeky, punk rock spirit. Plus, as a company that’s dedicated to adaptively reusing landmark local buildings, we loved the idea of giving a second life to all the old cassette tapes that sit in boxes under beds and collect dust by memorializing them as an installation

How were the items collected? We sent out an email blast to our ePosse (Upward Projects’ email list) requesting them to donate their cassette tapes in exchange for a gift card. It was a really cool way of engaging our community and connecting them to the new restaurant.

Why do you think this wall makes a statement? What makes music special is how different songs and albums that we rocked out to in our youth have the ability to bring us back to a nostalgic time—maybe even a time that evokes relived feelings of rebellion, freedom and living life a little dangerously. No matter if you’re old enough to remember making your own mix tapes, or young enough to appreciate outdated analog technology, everyone smiles when they spot our cassette tape wall.

5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, Ariz.; 602.279.1111

Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails, Scottsdale, Arizona
Speakers at Hi Fi Kitchen. (Courtesy Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails)

Hi Fi Kitchen and Cocktails

Speaking with: Diane Corieri, co-owner of Evening Entertainment Group, the company that owns Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails)

The wall: Housed inside a sleek, custom-designed indoor-outdoor space in the heart of downtown Scottsdale’s Entertainment District, Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails combines a high-energy, music-centric vibe with Scottsdale’s most stunning, high-tech audio and visuals. This includes both a 45-foot digital graffiti "wall" surrounding the main island bar that projects an ever-evolving array of 3D images, all opposite a brick-and-mortar back wall that’s lined with vintage speakers and throwback black and white televisions.

What was the inspiration behind it? Hi Fi was inspired by our love of great music, food and nightlife, which is why Hi Fi combines fun throwback elements like a working speaker wall built from old-fashioned wood-framed High Fidelity box speakers, with high-tech eye candy like Scottsdale’s first-ever digital graffiti wall, plus a chef-crafted menu of classic American comfort food and signature Adult Milkshakes.

How were the items collected? The entire space was custom-built from the ground up in 2013, including the high-tech digital wall that was completely overhauled and upgraded in 2015. The speaker and TV wall was also custom-built from vintage stereo equipment and old black and white TVs, some of which were donated by the owners from their personal collection. The rest of the speakers and TVs were sourced from yard sales and used electronics stores, refurbished and rewired, and then installed in place by hand one by one. Finally, the rest of the wall was wrapped with reclaimed wood planks to complement the eclectic, vintage look of the wooden speakers.

Why do you think it makes a statement? Powered by a state-of-the-art digital mapping system, Hi Fi’s high-tech audio-visual system is like nothing else in town. Just like when Hi Fi rolled out Scottsdale’s first digital graffiti wall when we opened in 2013, this state-of-the-art lighting and visual system will again blow people away when they see this stunning eye candy. [Between the graffiti wall and the vintage speaker wall], the space has to be seen, and heard, to be believed.

4420 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale, Ariz.; 480.970.5000