Fabulous People: John Malcolm

John Malcolm is the owner, Tonto Bar & Grill in Cave Creek. John heads up the front of the house by personally greeting guests and remembering specific details of their preferences. Read more about John Malcolm…

Hometown: San Carlos, CA

First job: My first job was working at the local deli in my hometown. My job included slicing fresh meats & cheeses and making hoagies. I felt at home being in customer service from the start, while interacting with our neighborhood customers. It was the job that started me on my way to a career in the industry I am still in today.

Favorite AZ restaurant: You cannot ask a guy who loves food as much as I do to narrow this down to just one place. So let’s break it down into my top categories: 

Pizza – ” il Capo Pizzeria” in Scottsdale – Wood Fired NY Pies – My favorite is the il Capo Pizza- house-pulled mozzarella, fresh arugula, prosciutto di parma, balsamic reduction, tomato sauce, EVOO. Done…

Sushi – “Hiro Sushi” at 90th Street, Scottsdale – There’s nothing else to say… 

Tacos – “Paquime – Street Food of Mexico” in Phoenix – A little hole in the wall with authentic, fresh ingredients made to order. Amazing! 

Healthy – “Flower Child” – A spot with a healthy, simple and full menu of great flavors. Plus, I enjoy the self-serve beverage station of creative iced teas and lemonades.

Full-Service Dining – “Hillstone” in Phoenix – This place does everything right. Outstanding customer service, a rich warm & comfortable atmosphere and a creative menu of comfort foods that are executed to perfection. 

Dessert – “Churn” in Phoenix – House-made ice creams, waffle cones and sundaes with names like “Fat Elvis.” It is my family’s absolute favorite place.

Person who has impacted your life the most: I would have to say the mothers of my four beautiful children. I will be forever grateful to them both.

Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: The American dream is to be a self employed entrepreneur. To have accomplished starting my own business and serving Arizona and my community for 25 years is beyond my wildest dreams.

The biggest obstacle you have overcome: While owning your own business has its advantages, learning how to manage my time has been the biggest obstacle. When your responsibilities include overseeing a seven day a week full-service restaurant, managing a staff of 70 plus employees while maintaining a healthy household/lifestyle, it requires daily discipline and time management. Not to mention incredible support from your loved ones.

Someone who inspires you: Someone who does the simple act of volunteering and serving others. This is the thing that inspires me the most. To simply be kind , is such a selfless act and if you can bring brightness to someones else’s day it is the best gift of all.

Favorite quote: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Well, I never sugarcoat it to them. I inform them that the restaurant industry is a grind of long hours and hard work. You must truly enjoy being a people pleaser. You must be a strong team player and have a great work ethic. This business requires thick skin and is not for sissies. Would you like an application…..?

What you think makes someone fabulous: People who display kindness, honesty, humility and are of service to others. Simply someone who is real and a good human being.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *