Features July 2018

From Tragedy to Triumph

Kellie Pruitt, owner and founder of PNPK, craft sliders and wine bar, has turned family tragedy into community inspiration. PNPK is located in Scottsdale and brings a unique range of sliders, shareable appetizers, wines and more to the local community.

Photo Credit: Connor Sutcliffe

PNPK officially opened in March of this year, after having undergone a rebranding and renovation from its previous business title, the Grape Bistro. Kellie had opened the restaurant originally as the Grape Bistro in 2016 and it was very successful. However, tragedy struck shortly after when her 17 year-old daughter suddenly passed away.

“I wasn’t involved in the business after that and it wasn’t as successful,” Kellie shared of this dark time.  “I spent a lot of time hiking and trying to grasp at my new life. I spent my time on Pinnacle Peak Mountain. It’s a beautiful hike and so picturesque. I always enjoyed hiking there even before my daughter, Harleigh, passed away. But after her death, I found solace there. Being a part of nature made me feel close to her and I so desperately wanted that feeling.”

This is how PNPK got its name, as an homage to the mountain that brought Kellie peace while dealing with grief.

During this time, Kellie noticed the financial results of her restaurant, then Grape Bistro, declining. She decided she needed to either do something different or sell the business and she truly didn’t want to part ways. She saw plenty of potential to still be successful.

“I needed to come up with something unique,” said Kellie. “We wanted a concept that would be family friendly and open to all ages. I was introduced to Rebecca Golden, founder of 32 Shea (another local wine bar), and she helped me find a new concept for my business. We revamped our menu and chose to focus on small bites and sliders; a sharable concept.”

Photo Credit: Connor Sutcliff

PNPK is near the Scottsdale airpark and Kellie drew inspiration from this neighbor, adding flights of food to her menu. Flights include deviled eggs, bruschetta, charcuterie, sliders, and even dessert, beer and wine flights.

They feature one of the largest selection of wines in the Valley. Kellie said she “always enjoyed great wine but didn’t like to go to formal places for them.” So she wanted to offer great wines in a more casual and relaxed setting. PNPK does just that and features a separate bar area, champagne lounge, dining area and a large communal table, as well. Wine is sold by the glass and by the bottle. Kellie has seen an influx in sales of her higher priced wines because of this relaxed concept and believes that her customers recognize their reasonable prices.

“We wanted to partner with other local businesses, such as Arizona beer and wine vendors as a way of giving back to other local businesses,” Kellie said. “We also wanted to give back to our community, so we created a signature sparkling wine cocktail called the Tickle Me PNPK. A dollar from every sale benefits the Friends of Pinnacle Peak Park, a volunteer group that helps to maintain the park and trails on Pinnacle Peak.”

PNPK has been open for under three months now and has already seen growth and success. Kellie says the idea of offering flights of small bites has been very well received. Their most popular slider is the fried chicken slider. Their large variety of deviled eggs are also a huge hit.

“I want to be a place where people can come enjoy themselves. I want to continue to support the local community and be the neighborhood go-to spot,” Kellie shared of her success. “I love that so many different people come here. I’ve enjoyed talking with guests, meeting new people and getting their feedback. It’s nice to hear good feedback and to get to know lots of people that live near here. It’s the people aspect about this restaurant that is so special.” For more information, check out www.pnpkaz.com.

By: Rebecca Kaye

Rebecca Zaner

Rebecca Zaner has written many stories throughout the valley and enjoys having the ability to share community news, journeys and achievements. Holding a Bachelor of Music, Rebecca’s favorite place to be is the stage. Having been a singer all her life, Rebecca is now in pursuit of a professional performing career, singing opera and musical theatre (rebeccazaner.com). Also an avid photographer, Rebecca owns a photography business, Rebecca Kaye Photography (rebeccakayephoto.wix.com/rebeccakaye). She enjoys the natural beauty of Arizona and can be found spending her free time exploring and traveling with her family.

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