Uncle Bear’s Promises Doggone Good Time - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Uncle Bear’s Promises Doggone Good Time

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Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013 4:30 am

A dog-themed brewery with space and food for the whole family has taken over the old El Paso BBQ location at Ray Road and 48th Street.

Uncle Bear’s Bar and Grill has been in business in the Valley for 13 years, but the new Ahwatukee location will be the hub because it houses the company’s brewery.

“We have always been a bar and grill concept that believed in the local beer scene,” founder Todd Carey said. “We stumbled across this location and always wanted to do our own brewery. This seemed like the perfect time and prefect location for that. We feel the craft beer scene is starting to make its way and is sweeping across Arizona. We want to be part of that.”

Guests are able to dine feet away from where the company is brewing its own craft beer. They hope to have eight to 10 in-house beers brewing at any time. That beer will be sold at the Ahwatukee restaurant and will also be distributed to other Uncle Bear’s locations.

Uncle Bear’s is named after Carey’s old Labrador, Bear, whom his nieces always called “Uncle Bear.” The dog passed away 10 years ago but his image lives on at Uncle Bear’s. From the moment guests approach the door they’ll notice dog bone-shaped door handles and touches of fire engine-red in the decor. Light fixtures inside are shaped like paw prints while many of the custom-built tables are dog-bone shaped.

The restaurant has a very open feel but is divided into the brewery, the restaurant and the bar.

The patio at Uncle Bear’s has plenty of seating for humans and dogs. On Saturdays, dogs eat free with the purchase of a regular entrée. Carey and his business partner, Josh Allison, have located a special organic dog food out of California that he supplies for four-legged friends.

The atmosphere is meant to be casual and friendly for all ages. Carey said with the menu, which has been upgraded for this new location, they tried to have something that would appeal to many different tastes. The menu includes burgers and wings as well as steak, seafood, flatbreads, salads, soups, and vegetarian and gluten-free options.

“My goal is to take what we learn from here and apply it to the new vision for our other stores, which is distributing beer to ourselves as well as stepping up our menu,” Carey said. “We’re a local favorite. We believe in supporting the community and we’re excited to be in Ahwatukee.”

Uncle Bears is located at 4921 E. Ray Road. For more information, visit unclebearsbarandgrill.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

ty �Roe�� p� ct their own laws. And legislators are not challenging what voters approved in 2000, acknowledging that they could have enacted both the tax hike and the inflation mandate themselves.

“It follows that the people also could constitutionally enact that statute,” Pelander said.

Pelander acknowledged that, generally speaking, one Legislature cannot bind future Legislatures. That principle frees lawmakers next year to repeal what was adopted by lawmakers two years ago.

But he pointed out that lawmakers chose not to enact the legislation themselves and instead punted, putting the question on the ballot.

“Having chosen to refer the measure to the people, who then passed it, the Legislature is subject to the restrictions of the Voter Protection Act which fundamentally altered the balance of power between the electorate and the Legislature,” Pelander wrote.

“It’s certainly a good day for the kids of our state and our voters,’’ said Tim Ogle, executive director of the Arizona School Boards Association, one of the groups who challenged the prior refusal of lawmakers to provide the funds.

But the victory is prospective only: nothing in Thursday’s ruling requires lawmakers to make up should have been added to the budgets of state schools in the time lawmakers suspended inflation funding.

Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, said he is still studying the ruling to see what implications it has beyond the immediate question of state aid to schools.

House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, said lawmakers probably were going to fund the inflation formula for future years, with or without a Supreme Court order. But Tobin, like Biggs, said he wants more time to analyze the court’s underlying reasons and the longer term implications.

Ogle acknowledged the high court ruling does tie the hands of lawmakers, limiting their ability to make decisions on spending priorities to first ensure funding for what voters have mandated.. But he said that’s irrelevant.

“They have a responsibility to the citizens that elected them,” Ogle said, citizens who have a constitutional right to adopt their own laws. “So they’ll just have to figure that part out.”

The court has not always sided with ballot proponents. The justices ruled last year that lawmakers can sidestep a requirement in a 2004 ballot measure that the state must provide care for everyone below the federal poverty level.

But that conclusion was based on language in the initiative which said the coverage would be funded by a tobacco tax, the state’s share of a nationwide settlement with tobacco companies, and other “available sources” of cash. And the courts said it is up to legislators to determine whether there are funds “available.’’

The programs cut from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System are set to be restored in January as part of the state’s decision to take advantage of — and get funds through — the federal Affordable Care Act. Under the plan pushed by Gov. Jan Brewer, those dollars will be coupled with what amounts to a tax on hospitals.

But that conclusion was based on language in the initiative which said the coverage would be funded by a tobacco tax, the state’s share of a nationwide settlement with tobacco companies, and other “available sources” of cash. And the courts said it is up to legislators to determine whether there are funds “available.’’

The programs cut from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System are set to be restored in January as part of the state’s decision to take advantage of — and get funds through — the federal Affordable Care Act. Under the plan pushed by Gov. Jan Brewer, those dollars will be coupled with what amounts to a tax on hospitals.

But that program itself could wind up before the Supreme Court, with foes of Medicaid expansion arguing that lawmakers illegally enacted a tax hike without the requisite two-thirds vote required by the Arizona Constitution. Attorneys for the governor contend the levy is not a tax and needed only a simple majority of both the House and Senate.

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