Meet Mike Troyan - The Face Behind the Party

DD: Hey Mike, thanks for hanging out… We’ve known each other for a while – you have a pretty amazing dream to reality story and have done some amazing things in a short period of time – how did you do it?

MT: I’m not sure how to answer that; I couldn’t have done it myself.  Besides a lot of hard work, my friends, family, and business associates were a huge support and believers that we could do it. We have come a long way and I’m excited about where we’re going.

DD: What all do you have going right now?

Mike: Well, we have quite a few projects in the works in various locations across Arizona & a couple key states… We have three El Hefe’s, two Whiskey Row’s and we’re excited about two new concepts we’ve recently launched – Farm & Craft with initial locations in Gilbert & Scottsdale and Hand Cut, a funky cool hamburger shop.

DD: Okay, so I’ve been to El Hefe & Whisky Row multiple times but it seems Farm & Craft and Hand Cut are a bit outside of your team’s sweet spot – why the change in strategy?

MT: A fair question, there has been a lot of thought put into the expansion but a simple answer is we believe we can be more successful then most startup restaurant concepts because we have local staff of over 300 that represent our demographic. They are hip, young & trendy.  Our staff is great… amazing actually.  With their support and goodwill we expect to continue to have successful launches of existing & new concepts throughout Phoenix Metro & US.

DD: So, if I can summarize your answer – you’re expanding your company because you can.  I love it.

MT: Haha, I’m not sure about that.  We have the formula well established.  We assure superior food standards using award winning chefs and high quality ingredients, we have a strong marketing team and great employees. So yes, we can!

DD: Well, congratulations on your continued success! And your business isn’t the only thing that has been growing; tell me about your family.

MT: As you know, we had a boy December of 2015.  Asher Troyan. It’s been great, but to be honest its different then I expected.  It hasn’t changed my world; we have this little guy that joined our family.  If we’re going to dinner, then he comes with.  I guess what I’m saying having a child isn’t as extreme as I thought it was going to be.  He’s been an addition to our lifestyle, not a subtraction.

DD: That’s a great way to put it. Changing subject, being in the restaurant / bar industry, do you find yourself overly critical of other establishments?

MT: No, not at all. There are so many great restaurants in the Phoenix Metro restaurant scene, there honestly isn’t much to complain about.

DD: What are your favorites?

MT: Hmm, I guess that depends on time of day but a few of my favorites is brunch at Olive & Ivy, we walk to The Henry frequently for lunch, and when its nice out we’ll ride the canal to OSHO for a beer on the patio.

DD: For our readers, what area of town do you live in?

MT: Arcadia north of the canal.

DD: Where do you find your creative energy when working on your business?

MT: I’ll bring a laptop to a restaurant or bar – typically one of my restaurants.

DD: Favorite guilty pleasure?

MT: Dark chocolate, we keep a lot of plain dark chocolate at the house.

DD: How’s the lovely Rachel doing (Mike’s wife).

MT: She’s great, with the kid she’s been keeping busy obviously but her company Outstanding Occasions has been growing pretty quickly, they’ve been doing a lot of weddings but have expanded into birthday parties & Bar Mitzvahs recently.

DD: Well, I really appreciate you hanging out with me today but before we go – last question… when did you get your “aha” moment for your business?

MT: Ending on a tough one, eh?  I’m not sure how to answer that. There were a lot of little successes along the way that register as aha moments, but I suppose the biggest was opening day for El Hefe. We were blown away by the community’s reception.  I think that was our first, aha – we’re on to something moment.

DD: That’s great, you’ve been on an upward path since we met and I congratulate you and your partners in your success for years to come. Thanks again!

For reader’s that want to learn more, visit Mike’s family of companies here:


Riot Hospitality Group - Leading the industry in Hospitality Evolution  


El Hefe 

Scottsdale | Tempe | Chicago


Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row

Scottsdale | Tempe | Gilbert | Nashville


Farm & Craft

Scottsdale | Gilbert


Hand Cut



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