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Oliver’s | New Scottsdale Restaurant with Unexpected Roots | ICONIC LIFE

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Oliver’s | New Scottsdale Restaurant with Unexpected Roots

Olivers' Scottsdale restaurant hero

Kevin Brost

Discover the history behind the design of Scottsdale’s newest modern American restaurant.

What was once the world’s first polynesian Dairy Queen is now Oliver’s, an elevated modern American restaurant that integrates the ICONIC building’s rich history and architecture with a fresh, modern design. 

Oliver’s is a testament to the beauty that comes from the restoration of the old. The old Dairy Queens history vibrates through the restaurant’s atmosphere, from the memorabilia wall that incites nostalgia and pays homage to the original Dairy Queen, to the unique cantilevered roof, which acts as the anchor that holds the character of the original building to the swanky, modern restaurant Oliver’s is. 

Kevin Brost

The restoration of this historic landmark wouldn’t have been possible without the exemplary architectural team at ALINE Architecture or the interior design team at Social Design Studio who breathed a new life into this aesthetic fixer upper. 

“We needed to expand the building because it was only 1,000 square feet,” Brian Krob, principal architect at ALINE Architecture, says. “We wanted to celebrate the building in and of itself, but also  have the expanded section to have its own character that tied into the original Polynesian section.” 

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The transportation of an old building is no easy feat. To get the original Dairy Queen to where it is today, the architectural team had the task of disassembling the building, transporting it to its new location, and reassembling the building while also adding restorative properties and elements. 

“We had to investigate and figure out the way it was constructed and recreate that.” Brian Laubenthal, principal architect at ALINE Architecture, says.

“The building was older and forgotten so it needed a lot of love,” Krob adds. “Structural codes are also not the same as they were in the 60s. We made the building stronger with better connections but preserved the character. Another thing that we really wanted to showcase was the high ceiling that came with the cantilevered roof. The original Dairy Queen had a ceiling, which hid the interior of the 30-foot tall roof, so we wanted to make sure people saw that.” 

Oliver's interior, new scottsdale restaurant dairy queen

Kevin Brost

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Working with an earthy color palette and incorporating a mix of browns, tans grays and olive tones, Oliver’s you are greeted with a moody, yet welcoming atmosphere. 

Kevin Brost

“The story behind the Polynesian Dairy Queen is so cool, so our team wanted to take creative direction stemming from that story, while also connecting it to its sister property, The Eleanor,”  Nicole Herman, principal designer and founder of Social Design Studio explains. “The original owners of the Polynesian Dairy Queen were named Don and Elanor, so the atmosphere in the Elanor is feminine, girly and bright. But for Don’s restaurant concept (Oliver’s) we wanted it to have a more masculine and moody feel, but also dapper. I hope that the restaurant reminds people of a cool man.” 

When you walk into Oliver’s you feel like you are walking into history. The strong connection between the building’s roots and what it is today is evident, not only through the decor, but in the energy of the restaurant itself. The Oliver’s team takes pride in their restaurant’s interesting history, even incorporating it into their menu with their signature cocktail The Queen, which is served in an original Dairy Queen glass. 

Oliver's signature cocktail at scottsdale restaurant

Jose Pacheco

The restaurant’s unique backstory may be what draws you into the doors, but Oliver’s sensational service, delicious food options and refreshing cocktails is what will keep you coming back. 

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