Craft 64

6922 E. Main St.

480-946-0542 | craft64.com

When local beer expert James Swann decided to open Craft 64, an Old Town Scottsdale wood-fired pizza and craft beer restaurant with over 36 local beers on tap, he was in need of a chef whose expertise in food matched his in beer.

Finding that chef proved easier than he thought. He was a Phoenix staple.

Head Chef Horacio “Lachos” Hernandez now works his magic behind the pizza oven at Craft 64, tossing dough and whipping up pies that include fresh mozzarella and locally grown produce. Lachos, as he’s known to his friends, has a familiar face, one you probably remember from his days behind the line at Pizzeria Bianco, where he worked with arguably the city’s best pizza chef for over 17 years, Chris Bianco.

Learning from the best, Lachos now designs a menu all his own. The menu, although small in size, is big on flavor and quality of the dishes.

Each of the four salads offers a burst of color on the plate. Whether you order the Kale Pear, Bistro Bacon, Mozzarella Caprese or the Panzanella, you can be sure all of the ingredients were freshly picked from Peoria’s McClendon’s Select Organic Farm.

The Blanco, made with fresh mozzarella, burrata, spinach and garlic is a tasty option. If you’re in the mood for meat, try the Carne Pizza, a satisfying combination of flavors from fennel sausage, spicy soppressata and tomato sauce. Additionally, the Fico Pizza, made with fresh mozzarella, burrata, parmigiano-reggiano, truffle oil, arugula and fig sauce is a playful experiment in pizza perfection using sweet and peppery flavors matched with the richness of homemade mozzarella cheese.

Enjoying a meal at Craft 64 means entering the 1937 Old Town building which was once a small home. Originally the second home built in Scottsdale, Swann and his partners decided to keep the building completely in tact.

“We looked at a lot of spots,” said Swann. “We like to say we didn’t find this spot, it found us.”

The adobe home was built in 1937. As the new owners worked to design their restaurant, the structural integrity was the key factor in design and construction.

“Every original adobe wall stayed,” said Swann.

The decision to respect the home’s history only furthered Craft 64’s mission to be a neighborhood restaurant with a deeply rooted local approach.

“Every single one of the 36 beers on tap is an Arizona locally brewed beer,” said Swann. “Same mentality in the kitchen with 90 percent [of the food] sourced locally.”

The vegetables are from McClendon Farms. Ninety percent of the proteins are from Schreiner’s Fine Sausages; the iced tea is from Passport Coffee and Tea; and the dairy items are all sourced locally as well.

Believe it or not, the local connection doesn’t stop there.

The long community table in the bar area of the restaurant is a local white oak designed by a Scottsdale artist.

Quality and expertise are another area in which this restaurant has high expectations.

Swann mans the bar at almost every shift, using his vast knowledge to educate patrons as well as his employees.

After working for San Tan Brewing Company for 3 1/2 years, Swann went on to create the flagship bar concept at Whole Foods in Chandler, where the store won the New Times Award for being a key beer destination in the city, three years in a row.

Knowledge and training is an important aspect of the Craft 64 family.

“Each of our bartenders is a Cicerone Certified Beer Server,” said Swann.

If beer isn’t your thing, Craft 64 caters to the wine lovers, too. An intricate wine list was designed by sommelier Roger Carpenter, who brings an upscale tone to the casual eatery when he presents each bottle at your table with an expertise that could educate even the most inexperienced wine drinker.

“Above all else, we wanted Craft 64 to be the great neighborhood restaurant you tell your friends about,” said Swann. “I think we’ve achieved our goal.”