Scottsdale gas station and BBQ joint to be featured on Animal Planet's 'Tanked'

Posted at 2:42 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 17:42:14-04

When visitors travel to Arizona, they likely think of the Grand Canyon, hiking trails and massive burritos.

What they miss are the hidden gems like The Thumb (formerly known as Tom's Thumb Fresh Market), a one-stop-shop destination.

On the outside it looks like a typical gas station and car wash, but walk through the lobby and it becomes a BBQ restaurant, a bakery and souvenir shop.

Food Network's Guy Fieri stopped by a few years ago for an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. And now Brett Raymer and Wade King from Animal Planet's show, Tanked, have placed their mark in Arizona -- a first.

If you're not familiar with the show, Raymer, King and the team at Acrylic Tank Manufacturing develop elaborate fish tanks for celebrities and businesses across the country, including Jason Aldean, Shaq and Tracy Morgan.

So, what did the Las Vegas team design for Arizona?

Image courtesy The Thumb

The 720-gallon salt water tank contains a large replica of Tom's Thumb fitted with saguaro cacti, the iconic cowboy sign that welcomes visitors to Old Town Scottsdale and two gas pumps.

Above the tank are more than 50 Arizona license plates (we like our plate designs).

"We were extremely pleased with the way the tank turned out," said General Manager Michael Lawson in a brief phone interview on Wednesday.

He said he wanted a tank that would be unique and represent Scottsdale and Arizona.

In a Facebook post, The Thumb said it hired a local company to treat the water and take care of the fish.

Filming began roughly three weeks ago in Las Vegas at ATM's facility and wrapped up last week when the tank was installed.

Image courtesy The Thumb

He said producers told him that the show should air sometime this year, although an exact date has not been announced yet. But once it is announced, he said there would be a special viewing party.

The Thumb has undergone renovations and a rebranding the last several months. The name was shortened from Tom's Thumb Fresh Market to The Thumb and the kitchen was expanded to let guests view the meat smokers and bakers at work. 

The parking lot will be expanded, and the entrance will get a "face-lift" soon, he said. In January, The Thumb will celebrate its fifth year.

Of course, the show's hosts could not leave without trying some of the food. Lawson said both tried the brisket stack.

Image courtesy The Thumb

The Thumb
9393 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale AZ 85260