Last Wednesday Roosevelt’s newest restaurant, The Dam Grill and Chill, opened its doors – and, said owner Dominick Argenziano, it has already seen packed houses in its first week. Brought to the lake area by Argenziano, an award-winning Tucson restaurateur, and featuring the skills of experienced local chef Delan McLaughlin, The Dam offers pizza, burgers, sandwiches, salads and more.
Argenziano, who operates a namesake Italian restaurant in Corona de Tucson along with his wife Ann, is no stranger to Roosevelt. He has been coming to the lake on fishing trips since childhood, and stopping for a bite at Boston’s Lake House Grill – and it’s at the former location of Boston’s, next door to the Spring Creek Store, that The Dam now welcomes diners. Argenziano said he would drive past the site and think, “Something’s got to go in there.” He met McLaughlin, the new venture’s chef/general manager, and Brandy Ballard, The Dam’s house manager/bartender, years ago and they became friends.
“I’m blessed to be working for Dominick,” said McLaughlin, who has been a chef at several lakeside establishments – Ffinch’s Waterfront Kitchen and Bar, the Roosevelt Resort and Ma’s Kitchen.
Menu highlights at The Dam include its pizzas, created by pizza chef Sarah Youngblood, its chicken sandwiches and The Dam Burger, featuring American Wagyu beef, cream cheese, jalapenos and bacon. The menu also offers hero sandwiches, salads, appetizers and more. McLaughlin said everything at The Dam is cooked from scratch, using all fresh food and ingredients. Gluten-free options like cauliflower pizza crust are also available. Diners can enjoy a meal inside or on the 28-seat patio, and watch sports on several big screen TVs. There are also plans for a full bar, upon approval of a pending liquor license application.
Argenziano, whose Corona de Tucson restaurant won Best Italian Food, Best Pizza and Best-Locally Owned Restaurant in the 2021 Arizona Daily Star Readers’ Choice Awards, said Roosevelt was like his second home, adding that the Argenzianos plan to move to the area eventually. “I love it up here; it’s a totally different vibe.”
The Dam Grill and Chill is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dine-in and takeout are available; for takeout orders, call (928) 467-2180.