Roger’s Story: A native of Sydney, Australia, Roger gained his love of wine as a member of the New South Wales Wine & Food Society mixing with wine makers and chefs wetted his appetite for what was to come. After 35 years as a corporate insurance broker he decided to try his luck in the wine business and arrived in Phoenix in September 2001 and opened up Red Kangaroo Wines in Chandler in March 2002. Roger’s first love is his “mate” of 8 years, Diane, closely followed by golf & soccer, although he stopped playing the latter at age 47. With two sons and four grandchildren back in Sydney, annual visits back home will become a regular event.
Kirsten’s Story: Kirsten has been a regular at DownUnder for about 6 years now. She was juvenile probation officer for several years before beginning to work part time at DownUnder where she found her passion for wine and viticulture. Kirsten is now the General Manager of DownUnder and is known to reside there pretty much full time. Her favorite wine?? She’s a sucker for a juicy Cabernet or tender Petite Syrah (sometimes even a lovely Riesling…from Germany of course)! Kirsten’s favorite part about the wine business and DownUnder are all of the new people she comes into contact with. “There’s NEVER a dull moment! Please come down and introduce yourself…let’s sit down and have a glass!” Kirsten is proud to say the best part about this business is the lifelong friends you make along the way…the wine doesn’t hurt either!
Raul’s Story: Being the entertaining guy that he is, you’ll often find this dude sitting at the bar with his favorite regulars. On Sundays there may even be a little guitar playing going on. Raul and Kirsten have been married for 7 years and have been regulars of DownUnder for several years before a buy-in opportunity came along. Raul has been known to enjoy a nice peppery Cabernet or perhaps even his favorite beer…the Heffe. He’s always eager to meet new folks into the DownUnder Pub family.
Their Story: Leo and Mary Welch had been long time customers of the Red Kangaroo in Chandler, Arizona and the Down Under Wine Bar and Bistro in Gilbert, Arizona. An opportunity to invest in the business came up and as of February 1, 2011, are part owners of this unique establishment. They have been married since 1990 and have full time employment in the Medical Device, Electronics and Aerospace Industries. Shiraz and Rieslings’, Fish and Chips, Kobe Burger, Seared Barramundi, the Grilled Lamb Chops are just a few of their favorites.
Executive Chef Jared Lupin
His Story: Chef Jared joined the DowUnder family in 2011. In 2001 he joined the United States Army and was enlisted into military intelligence and later went on to culinary school. He attended culinary school and was stationed in Korea where he studied at Woosong Academy. Jared served in Iraq and upon returning to Arizona he began working at various restaurants in Arizona. His other claims to culinary fame include; destination hotels, Stingray, Geisha, Drift, Hyatt Compass Room, and Republic Ramen. While wine is ok, you’ll find Jared’s drink of choice to be Jameson and Black Tea…a little something he picked up from the Asian influence. Stop by and Jared will be glad to talk to you about cooking, ideas, and has been known to whip up a little something special for the regulars and first timers.
His Story: Tom joined our DownUnder family in 2011. He comes to DU with a great background in various culinary experiences after graduating from Scottsdale Culinary. Tom is known for his Sunday brunch specials and for the Euro flair brought to the menu. In what little spare time Tom has, he can be found camping, snowboarding, and spending time with his family. Tom’s specialty is breakfast menu items and he loves spending Sunday mornings at DownUnder. He also works closely with importers to ensure that only the freshest ingredients are brought into the restaurant! Tom can be found enjoying his favorite beverage…beer.