The restaurant space at the northwest corner of Desert Foothills Parkway and Chandler Boulevard, which most recently housed My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, has struggled for years to keep a tenant but new owners who are familiar with the area say they’ve got the right concept and the right management to make their business successful.

The new concept moving into 1334 E. Chandler Blvd., which was Le Ragazze before My Big Fat Greek, is a wine bar and bistro open for lunch and dinner and eventually, Sunday brunch. It’s called Unwined.

Billy Duffy and Edward Fernandez Maturinni Toretti are the owners of Loco Patron, which is located just across the street from the space. Toretti says they decided to open Unwined in that location as a defensive move, to prevent any other sports bars from moving in, and because they believe their new concept is needed in the area.

“Being in the sports bar business and knowing and understanding our community, the one thing lacking back here is a venue for couples,” he said. “Everything is a sports bar. It’s a huge challenge to get anyone from out of town to come back into the Foothills. There are sports bars closer to them. We figured the one thing people will travel for is romance.”

Unwined has 50 by-the-glass wines to choose from and 12 craft beers on tap. They also have full liquor and mixed drink selections and a menu of bruschettas, salads, paninis and entrees.

“I developed (the wine list) to hit every pallet,” said Brad Haley, general manager of the new wine bar. “Whether you are a sweet wine drinker or a big cab drinker or somewhere in between there is a wine glass here for you.”

The inside of the location got a complete face lift by Deidre Petrini of Casa Couture Designs. It was designed to have a warm and inviting feel that’s very different from a sports bar.

Unwined is open for business. They’ve been hosting a soft opening while they search for more servers and employees and put the finishing touches on the building. They plan on hosting a grand opening in May and will have daily specials in the future. For more information, call (480) 460-4600.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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