Anyone tapped into Arizona’s booming craft cocktail scene over the past decade knows the name Keifer Gilbert—he’s snagged “Best Of,” “Top 10,” and “Hall of Fame” honors locally and nationally, and led a multitude of projects that have earned some of the industry’s highest accolades.

At the top of his game, Gilbert stepped out of the hospitality scene three years ago and into full-time software development. It wasn’t until his friend of more than a decade, Chef Beau MacMillan, came calling a few months ago with a tempting favor—join him in developing the menu at the soon-to-open Tell Your Friends in North Scottsdale.

“When Beau calls, you answer,” says Gilbert. “I have no plans to get back into the cocktail industry, so the opportunity to work alongside Beau at Tell Your Friends informally and casually lends itself to a fun passion project where we can collaborate as longtime friends. What resonates with me is that Phoenix has risen in the ranks regarding beverage culture awards—major recognition has flooded this town, and rightfully so. However, North Scottsdale is almost a ghost town when it comes to notable cocktail programs. Tell Your Friends is a testament to the expanding reach and need for cocktail culture in every nook and cranny in the Valley.”

Keifer Gilbert

Keifer is no stranger to contributing to the evolution of cocktail culture in Arizona—he has been part of some of the state's most-recognized bars, with former establishments including UnderTow, Counter Intuitive, and Bitter & Twisted, just to name a few.

Slated to open in late this month or early next month, Tell Your Friends is a sultry cocktail and live music lounge located underneath The Americano and accessed through a nondescript side door. The ultra-luxe, 52-seat venue is a collaboration between Creation Hospitality, owners of The Americano, Mora Italian, and others, and Clive Collective, the owners of Cala.

Much like the inspiration for the space’s design, the Gatsby-era theme translates into Keifer’s beverage program featuring approximately 20 cocktails rooted in the classics. A few showstoppers include More Hops to the Mix, a full-palate, tequila-based drink that incorporates citra hops, sous vide into a syrup, along with serrano peppers, lime, pineapple, and a pinch of salt; I’m in the Mood for Love, with fresh red bell pepper syrup, raspberries, gin, Genepy and lemon juice is bold and beautifully well-rounded; and Beeswax-Cured Old Fashioned, which is bottled and finished tableside. Gilbert employs a straightforward culinary approach to both the composition and execution of the drinks.

A well-curated menu of elevated small bites created by MacMillan will round out the offering. For guests who can’t resist the allure of the acclaimed pasta, steak, and seafood offered upstairs at The Americano, special arrangements can be made to satisfy most cravings.

Open Thursday through Sunday from 5 p.m. until late night, guests of Tell Your Friends will enter a dimly lit vestibule enhanced by dramatic floral wallcoverings and a black-tile accented staircase that leads to the intimate lounge. Upon the descent, the space begins to come to life as the venue reveals itself with rich maroon velvet drapes, mirrored walls and fanciful lighting. As the curtains are drawn, the focal point emerges—a captivating bar adorned with floor-to-ceiling lights that seamlessly trace their way across the ceiling, creating a dazzling connection to the adjacent stage. The lounge will host nightly performances featuring talented vocalists, musical acts, and entertainers who will be inspired by classic sounds while performing anything but the ordinary. The interiors are being done by Basile Studio, a California firm known for its award-winning work at such notable restaurants as Born and Raised and Morning Glory, both in San Diego.