What’s driving opposition to the proposed Swags Restaurant? In Scottsdale Progress, Swags owner Aaron Wagner and Rose Law Group Co-founder Court Rich speak to the ‘ironic’ situation

By Tom Scanlon | Scottsdale Progress

For partiers who can’t make it to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the Entertainment District in Scottsdale will do.

Near the intersection of Camelback and Scottsdale roads, the young and restless can whoop it up and bar hop, with one venue after another cranking DJ music or live bands.

During the first 11 months of 2023, police fielded 187 disturbing the peace/excess noise calls from Old Town and the Entertainment District.

Regulars know that with bar-lined streets blocked off to traffic on weekend nights, it’s best to Uber in or park blocks away.

Yet, a powerhouse behind much of the boisterous music and parking woes of the Entertainment District is citing potential noise and parking disruptions in attempting to block a newcomer – though the owner of the planned Swags insists it will be a relatively peaceful, “fine-dining restaurant.”

Asked if he thought it was ironic for a noisemaker like Scottsdale nightclub dynamo Shawn Yari to complain about noise, Swags owner Aaron Wagner replied:

“It’s like the pot calling the kettle black – but the kettle can’t hear it because the pot is too loud.


Court Rich, an attorney who represents Wagner, added “These are all entities controlled by the same person, Mr. Yari. It’s a distinction without a difference.

“The Yari companies and the people who work for them,” Rich said, “are the only people that have expressed any concern whatsoever about Mr. Wagner’s plan to take a rundown ugly bar and turn it into a high-end restaurant.”

Swags’ representative, Omar Abdallah from Rose Law Group, repeatedly told the commission: “It’s not a bar – it’s a restaurant … It helps stop the growth of bars in the neighborhood.”

Even so, Wagner confirmed plans for bars on each of the three levels.

But Abdallah stressed the high-end restaurant “will be a quieter (business) among much louder neighbors.”