The restaurant business is risky even for those with decades of experience. New restaurants must gain popularity quickly if they are to succeed. And, long-established restaurants can still run into trouble and close despite the owners’ best efforts.
In terms of restaurant closures, 2018 came as a bit of a shock to Phoenix residents. Here are the 5 restaurants whose closings surprised us the most.
As testament to the fact that experienced restaurateurs aren’t guaranteed success, let’s start our list with Casa Añejo. This contemporary Mexican restaurant was the brain child of the Evening Entertainment Group, which owns several successful restaurants in and around Phoenix.
Casa Añejo’s pedigree couldn’t save it, and it closed after less than a year. The location is expected to serve as the site of a second location of Bevvy, another one of Evening Entertainment’s restaurants in the area.
DeSoto Central Market
When it opened in 2015, DeSoto Central Market caught the attention of Phoenix-area foodies with its promise of providing a high-end, bustling food hall where diners could try a variety of dishes in one space. However, it closed in 2018.
One reason for the surprise closure was that, despite its fine-dining pedigree, the Market kept losing tenants. Without sufficient rent to pay its expenses, the owners were forced to close its doors for good after less than 3 years in business.
Cowboy Ciao first opened its doors on February 12, 1997 and quickly became a staple of the Scottsdale restaurant scene. Owner Peter Kasperski had struggled in recent years, filing for bankruptcy twice in 2012 and 2017.
When the restaurant closed almost without warning, it came as a shock to long-time patrons in the area. The restaurant announced its closing on Facebook. However, Cowboy’s Ciao signature Stetson Chopped Salad lives on at sister restaurants New Wave Market and Super Chunk Sweets & Treats.
For 60 years, Los Compadres served local restaurants a menu of traditional Mexican foods such as chimichangas, flautas, and tamales. First open in 1958, most recently it was run by Danny Valdivia, the third-generation owner who took over from his family.
Valdivia ultimately decided to sell the building that housed Los Compadres to the family that owns El Chullo Peruvian Restaurant, which plans to open a second location in the building. The North Phoenix location of Los Compadres remains open.
Sing High Chop Suey House
Perhaps the single most shocking restaurant closure in Phoenix in 2018 was the city’s oldest restaurant, Sing High Chop Suey House, which has been serving Phoenicians with high-quality Chinese-American food since 1928. That’s 90 years of history that the city has lost.
The restaurant was run by the Lee family, most recently by Harlan Lee. He has not ruled out reopening in a new location, but no definite plans to resurrect the popular restaurant have been made public.
Restaurant closures happen virtually every day, but the demise of the five restaurants on this list shocked even some veteran restaurant-watchers. However, it’s a safe bet that 2019 will bring a slew of new restaurants to Phoenix – and some may still be here decades from now. Storage West is proud to be part of the Phoenix community. Learn more about Phoenix through our relocation guide and facility blog.