About House of Tricks


Our Name

We are often asked how the unusual name "House of Tricks" came about. The answer is really quite simple; it is the last name of the owners, Robert and Robin Trick. When the Tricks first dated, many years ago, their favorite restaurant was in in Jerome, Arizona, "The House of Joy." A few years later when they opened their own restaurant in an older home, the name House of Tricks seemed perfect!

How it Began

Tempe Favorite RestaurantRobert and Robin Trick met in the early 1980's while working together at another favorite Tempe restaurant, The Bandersnatch Pub. Robin was the manager, Bob the chef. A few years later, the two married and ventured off on their own, searching for the "perfect location" in which to open one of the first fine-dining restaurants in Tempe. A space on Mill Avenue, the likely choice, proved unaffordable, even back then. Against caution from friends and colleagues, the Tricks' chose a run-down, off the beaten path house turned blue-print shop for their dream restaurant. With the help of those same friends and neighbors who advised against it, the Tricks' took on a 7-month remodel project, doing most of the work themselves. Opening in that little run-down house on Seventh Street turned out to be the best business decision ever made, as the opportunity to create the House of Tricks atmosphere anywhere else would not have been possible.

House of Tricks Restaurant opened in 1987 in a charmingly remodeled 1920's cottage, a lush oasis just steps away from the bustle of downtown Tempe and Mill Avenue. The cozy interior held a dozen tables surrounding a vintage stone fireplace built with local river rock. A canopy of mature trees embraced the outdoor patios with the ambiance of the residential neighborhood that it once was.

In 1994, the house next door, a historically recognized adobe brick structure built in 1903, was purchased and restored to its turn-of-the-century charm. The addition of two elegant dining rooms in this "a la carte" building tripled Tricks' indoor seating capacity and created intimate spaces for private parties.

A wooden deck and outdoor patio bar built into the landscaped area between the two houses now links the properties together, providing a comfortable space for a casual meal, or after-work beverage. Two additional outdoor patios, each with their own distinct and cozy feel, add more space for private events as well as alfresco dining.

The gracious atmosphere, fine wine list, splendid cuisine and superb service make this award-winning restaurant a local favorite and a must-see for visitors.

Listen to Robin's interview by Joanie Simon on "Restaurant Live Arizona" to hear more about House of Tricks' story.

Visit our Facebook page to see photos of House of Tricks from its beginnings!

Our Gardens and Pets

Outdoor Patio DiningThe beautiful gardens surrounding the restaurant are lovingly tended by Bob's mother, Mary Trick. Long before the staff arrives every morning, Mary is busy planting, pruning, and watering, preparing the patios for diners to enjoy. Pots of petunias, lobelia, daisies and geraniums add bright splashes of color to grape-covered arbors and fountains of ferns. It is no wonder many guests choose outdoor seating, year-round.

The brick patio in front of the bar is home to a family of gleaming goldfish nestled in a mossy, gurgling pond. You may also notice one of our contented cats lazing in the grass, enjoying the setting as much as our two-legged guests. They're all part of the family.

Our Community

Tempe Favorite Restaurant House of Tricks is really more than a restaurant it is part of a community. On any given day or night you will see familiar faces, many who have been part of the Tempe, ASU, or surrounding communities for a long time, eating, drinking, laughing, and enjoying themselves among first-time visitors and tourists from all over the world. At one table is a family celebrating grandma's 75th birthday, at another a business deal is being made. This eclectic mix of patrons is really what makes Tricks so special -- it is truly a place where everyone feels welcome. We've come to know many of our guests by name, and especially appreciate that they return year after year, bringing friends and family with them.

Tricks has a long-time commitment to giving back to the community that supports us. We are active members in the Tempe Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tempe Chamber of Commerce and Mill Avenue District. We serve on the board of directors for several organizations which enhance our business and feed our passions. We maintain strong relationships with staff and faculty at Arizona State University. We are devoted supporters of the arts. We donate thousands of dollars in gift certificates yearly, to help non-profit organizations throughout the valley achieve their goals. We have served hundreds of gallons of homemade soup to feed the hungry as a major sponsor of the Empty Bowls project for seven years.
The House of Tricks Wine Fiesta, now in its 18th year, is our major fund-raising event, held annually in November. Each year a different non-profit organization with a focus on children is chosen to receive the net proceeds from this sell-out event. Past recipients have included Children's Cancer Society, Caitlin Robb Foundation, Free Arts of Arizona, Childsplay and Juvenile Diabetes, to name a few.

Awards

House of Tricks has been recognized and extolled in numerous publications, including, Phoenix Magazine, Arizona Highways, Sunset Magazine, The New York Times, Tribune Newspapers, the Arizona Republic, numerous travel guides, and many other media venues. We have been awarded more than 20 Best of Phoenix awards by the New Times. House of Tricks is extremely proud to have recently been awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the second straight year, thanks to the hard work of our dedicated wine director, Ryan Brown. The Tempe Chamber of Commerce recently honored House of Tricks with the 2010 Business Excellence Award at its annual Breakfast for Chamber Champions. The award promotes the advancement of responsible business leadership in the community and publicly recognizes local businesses demonstrating a passion for excellence. With this award, the Tempe Chamber recognizes companies whose practices in business growth, employee development, community involvement and customer service exemplify excellence. Visit the Tempe Chamber Newsletter to read more.

Our Art Collection

Housed within the walls of our buildings is a collection of fine-art prints which have been judiciously acquired over the past 22 years. Please be sure to browse the dining rooms on your next visit, for an opportunity to see works by internationally-known artists such as William Wegman, Mark Klett, Dan Rizzie, Aaron Fink, Monica Martinez, Peter Drake and Suzanne Caporeal.