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IHOP Opens First Location with a Bar

Food & Wine logo Food & Wine 10/16/2018 Mike Pomranz

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Video provided by ABC Phoenix

Would you like a cocktail with those pancakes? Despite operating over 1,600 restaurants across all 50 states, IHOP just added something the chain has reportedly never had before at a standalone location: a full bar.

This boozy new IHOP recently celebrated its grand opening in Phoenix, Arizona (at the Camelback Colonnade shopping center), and though adding alcohol to an IHOP location might seem like a genius decision, the impetus was actually a fortuitous one: This new IHOP took over a space that previously housed a Lone Star Steakhouse—a chain that does have bars. Since this location was already equipped to sell alcoholic beverages, franchise owner Romulus Restaurant Group—who runs over 100 IHOPs in 11 states—pitched the idea to IHOP corporate to just go with it. The chain got on board with the plan—even diving in to help collaborate on the drinks menu—and history was made.

a close up of a sign © Scott Olson / Getty Images
According to the Phoenix Business Journal, though “a few” IHOP locations inside airports have bars, this restaurant is the first IHOP to have a full bar outside of a terminal. Though the chain reportedly said it has no plans for any other alcohol-friendly locations, everyone will certainly want to see how things play out in Phoenix.

“We think it's time to test how a bar goes along with our brunch, lunch and dinner items,” Romulus President and COO Chris Sumners was quoted as saying. If things go well, he added he’d even consider going back and adding a bar at all of his franchises.

As for the drinks, this Phoenix location has a specially crafted “Rise and Shine” bar menu. (Not beating around the morning drinking bush, are they?) Alongside craft beer and wine, patrons will also find cocktails specifically crafted to pair with morning fare, created with the help of the IHOP culinary team and some outside mixologists. For instance, the “Mulemosa” is a mimosa/Moscow mule mashup made with Regatta Ginger beer, sparkling wine, and a splash of orange juice, according to ABC15. Meanwhile, the Blue Roof Bloody Mary features a Tajin rim, celery, olives, and hickory-smoked bacon. And of course, patrons are free to Irish up their coffees if they so choose. Who knows? Maybe this location could be a permanent home for IHOP's recently released pumpkin pancake beer.

Sadly, though this IHOP is open 24 hours, it’s not meant to serve as your new all-night party spot. Apparently, the full bar menu will only be offered from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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