Brad Cesmat’s Baseball AZ: Don and Charlie’s

Spring training is bringing back new and familiar faces to Don and Charlie’s in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“I get to see a lot of people that I only see once a year and a lot of baseball people that come in,” said Don Carson, owner of Don and Charlie’s. “I’ve known some of them 30 to 35 years and I’m always meeting new people.”
Carson opened the doors to Don and Charlie’s back in 1981.
“My dad was in the business, so I always worked in a restaurant since the age of 11 and I worked in every department,” Carson said.
Don and Charlie’s is a popular spot not only among baseball fans, but players and celebrities.
“We get some ballplayers,” Carson said. “We get a lot of media people and we even had the MLB commissioner in tonight.”
Some of the top items people order when they come into the restaurant include different types of steak, baby back ribs and seafood.
“This restaurant is a reflection of the food I grew up eating in Chicago,” Carson said. “Most places don’t have skirt steak, shrimp Dijon and that’s an American restaurant. We have a Seattle salmon dish that is new on the menu and we just put on a pasta primavera and pasta marinara with shrimp.”
Don and Charlie’s is known for more that just its food.
“I think a lot of people hear about Don and Charlie’s and think we’re a sports bar,” Carson said. “We’re an American, tablecloth restaurant serving great American food that also happens to have a lot of memorabilia.”
This includes signed baseballs, magazine covers, photos and other sports memorabilia displayed all over the restaurant walls.
“We have over 3,500 items,” Carson said. “I don’t buy anything, less than 5 percent of what you see I bought. There is a story usually around everything and that’s what makes it cool.”
Sports memorabilia, food and that personal experience is what Carson said spring training customers are going to get when they come into Don and Charlie’s.
“We have a great staff and we work hard,” Carson said. “I think we have a sense of making people feel comfortable and I think it’s nice to feel comfortable when you go out to eat.
“Someone who says hello to you, how is everything going, thank you and hope to see you again,” Carson said. “It doesn’t happen everywhere anymore, so come on in.”
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