Fork & Dagger Celebrates All Things Local

Fork & Dagger is a bar and restaurant development company based in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan region.  The company was founded by Arizona State University alumni Julian Wright, whose passion for the local community pervades the company’s offerings including innovative, modern concepts focused on seamless integration with their surrounding neighborhood.   Members of Local First Arizona and The Tempe Tourism Office, all Fork & Dagger locations in Arizona source locally when possible and employee dozens of Arizona residents bringing inspired dining experiences to local patrons and visitors alike.

The Devil's In The Details

We believe in proper compliance and training for our managers and staff for all locations. As such, we have our Title IV Certification Training Program for those individuals working in an environment in which liquor is purchased and consumed at any premises residing in the state of Arizona.

Julian Wright, Restauranteur and Local Aficionado

Julian Wright Fork & DaggerJulian is a native Pennsylvanian who’s been in the bar and restaurant industry since 1989. A summa cum laude graduate of Arizona State University, Julian has brought a number of locally notorious and nationally recognized concepts to the Arizona culinary scene including Tempe’s revered The Library Bar & Grill and Jax Thai Bar as well as current staples on historic Mill Avenue such as La Bocca Urban Pizzeria + Wine Bar, Gringo Star Street Bar and The Handlebar Tempe.  In 2013, Wright expanded his gastronomic vision to parts afar with Modern Margarita and La Bocca Wine Bar & Urban Kitchen in Phoenix’s swanky City North development.

Plans are underway for the opening of a commercial kitchen to service multiple locations and concepts in the Phoenix metropolitan region, as well as expansion projects for current concepts and innovative new adventures in dining and drinks throughout the Southwest region.

For more information about Fork and Dagger restaurants development or to contact Mr. Wright directly, please use our Contact area below.

Community Involvement

- Advisory Board Member and Special Deputy, Sheriff’s Youth Assistance Foundation
- Director of Special Projects, Phoenix Council, Navy League of the United States
- Former Executive Board Member Downtown Tempe Community Council
- Former ASU Alumni Member
Julian Wright’s Executive Profile from the Phoenix Business Journal
Valley Leaders Profile for Julian Wright from the Phoenix Business Journal


Dinner Party


Executive Chef Mark Dow


In 2013, Fork & Dagger Bar and Restaurant Development Company expanded its internal team with the addition of Executive Chef Mark Dow.

Dow, an accomplished culinarian, came on board bringing a passion for great food, smart business and a dedication to pleasing the palates of every Fork & Dagger guest.  With over 16 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry, Mark has worked both front and back of the house and understands the intricacies and innovations that make for stellar dining experiences.

A graduate of Scottsdale’s famed “Le Cordon Bleu” academy, Dow has earned his stripes with notable stints as a Personal Chef/Gun for Hire, Chef de Cuisine at the James Beard award-winning Janos in Tucson, as well as Deseo at The Westin Kierland resort and Eatwell and Drinkalott.  Most recently as the General Manager of The Mint in Scottsdale, AZ, Mark has accumulated an impressive arsenal of culinary awards and accolades.

A Fresh Approach To Fork & Dagger’s Locations

With his current role and mission as Executive Chef for all Fork & Dagger locations like Tempe restaurants; La Bocca urban pizzeria + wine barThe Handlebar TempeRobbie Fox’s Public House and soon-to-be Nickel Bar, as well as Wright’s newest venture outside the milieu of Mill Avenue; Modern Margarita – Dow hit the ground running, revamping menus and tweaking tastes, textures and menus — creating the perfect recipe for success with Fork & Dagger’s bar and restaurant concepts.

Looking at long-term, sustainable growth, Dow has been heavily involved in the operations of Fork & Dagger’s commercial kitchen; streamlining efforts at a central location to shorten the supply chain and find efficiencies of scale for Wright’s Valley of the Sun locations, while maintaining a competitive edge and focusing on local vendors, inspired and creative menu offerings and farm-to-table freshness whenever possible.


- “Award of Excellence,” Wine Spectator Magazine, 2005
- “Best Ceviche,” Phoenix Magazine, August 2005
- “Best North Side Dining Spot,” Valley Guide, Summer 2005
- Nominated for “America’s Best New Restaurant” by James Beard Foundation, 2004
- “Best New Restaurants” in Phoenix, Food & Wine, February 2004
- Golden Plate Award, “Best Appetizers,” AZ Food & Lifestyles May/June 2004
- Chef de Cuisine Mark Dow
– Golden Plate Award, “Best Chefs,” AZ Food & Lifestyles March/April 2004
- Named #36 of “101 Things We Love,” Arizona Foothills, April 2004
- “118 of the Valley’s Best Restaurants,” Phoenix Magazine, January 2005
- “112 of the Valley’s Best Restaurants,” Phoenix Magazine, January 2004
- Chef de Cuisine Mark Dow
– “Young Guns,” Phoenix Magazine, January 2004
- “One of 10 Underrated Spots in the U.S.” by The Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2003

The Handlebar Tempe in Historic Mill Ave

680 South Mill Avenue Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 967-5244

La Bocca Wine Bar & Urban Kitchen

5415 E. High St, #127, Phoenix, AZ 85054 | (480)840-1799

La Bocca urban pizzeria + wine bar

699 S. Mill Avenue | Downtown Tempe | (480) 967-5244

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1735 E. Aurelius Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85020
(480) 215-1566 Cell
(602) 997-4050 Fax
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