The Breadfruit Rum Bar, Phoenix
The Breadfruit Rum Bar, Phoenix
Whenever I travel, I try and find the most rum-friendly bar in the area for a little…research. So imagine my delight when I found a rum bar attached to a Jamaican restaurant in the middle of downtown Phoenix on a recent trip to the desert. The restaurant and rum bar is called The Breadfruit, and it is not to be missed.
Founded in 2008 by Jamaican native and former IT worker Dwayne Allen, The Breadfruit could easily be described as an oasis, but it’s not just the drinks that tickle the taste buds here. Dwayne’s partner, Chef Danielle Leoni turns out a host of modern, elegant Jamaican-inspired dishes featuring locally-sourced, organic ingredients and “jet fresh” seafood.
As it was happy hour, I began with their rum punch, which changes daily. Made with whatever is fresh and on-hand, this particular punch featured strawberries and cherries, and it was delightful. At just $5 ($9 outside of happy hour) you could easily drink these and nothing else, but insodoing you’d be missing out on some other amazing cocktails.
After the punch, I sampled the following delicious concoctions:
Angostura 7, house-made tonic, habanero, sage-infused ice
The Scarlet Letter
Scarlet Ibis rum, orange shrub, lemon, cherry, cherry bitters
Of course with all of that rum, I would need to have some food. Fortunately for me, the restaurants’ entire menu is available at The Breadfruit Rum Bar. I began with the Plantain & Avocado Spring Rolls, which were light and refreshing, and went perfectly with the fresh mango chutney. For my main, I went with the Jerk Prawns. Served with an fantastic cabbage salad, roasted corn on the cob, grilled pineapple, and cornbread stick, the prawns were spicy and delightfully grilled. I finished with a slice of sweet potato pie topped with a rum-infused crème fraiche.
While dining, I had the opportunity to chat with Dwayne about his experience running the business. Consider that he opened a Jamaican restaurant just before the recession, in an area of Phoenix not known for its nightlife. Crazy? Like a fox, as it turns out. Five years later, The Breadfruit is not only surviving, it’s thriving. But that’s not to say it’s been easy.
When Dwayne took on additional space to open the Rum Bar, he drew up a list of rums he wanted to feature and sent it around to the local liquor reps. He had a couple hundred rums on the list, of which the local reps could provide just thirty. By working with importers and distributors, Dwayne has been able to amass a highly respectable inventory of rums from all over the world—many of which are quite unique. Speaking of which, I noticed the Rum Bar had a bottle of Appleton 50—the $5,000 bottling released to commemorate Jamaica’s fiftieth anniversary of independence from Great Britain. We got to talking about it, and Dwayne was nice enough to pour me a taste of this uber-premium rum—an amazingly kind gesture from one rum lover to another. I’ll write up my tasting notes on the Appleton 50 in a separate piece, but suffice to say it was pretty incredible.
As much as I wanted to stay and enjoy a cigar on the back patio, an early morning speaking engagement the next day forced me retire early. Next time I’ll plan my stay around a longer visit to The Breadfruit—you’d be wise to do the same.
108 E. Pierce St
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
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