You heard the scoop here first: on June 14, 2012, nine days from today, Changing Hands Bookstore may officially be confirmed as a tenant of the former Beef Eaters Restaurant on 3rd Ave. and Camelback!
My fingers have been crossed since 2000 that this would happen (which explains this cramp I get sometimes, when the original Changing Hands on Mill Ave. in Tempe closed (the picture above is from their Mill Ave. bookmark). Ever since that first location closed, the only real estate for the bookstore has been the one on McClintock and Guadalupe, where the original bookstore expanded to back in 1998.
Maybe this time…?
I’m very hopeful. What a great thing Changing Hands would do for Phoenix with a location here! Co-owner/general manager, Cindy Dach, has done a wonderful, extraordinary job with her independent bookstore and was recognized early this year in an article by The Huffington Post for being one of the main reasons there is such optimism in the Independent Bookstore Industry.
The Beef Eaters building is unique. As the website photos and home page describes it, it’s “Beef Eaters Restaurant in Phoenix Arizona is a rambling Arizona style adobe and heavy timber building with oak paneled walls, pitched beam ceilings, black leather booths, high wing-back chairs and linen table service. Trips to London added rare English art to its decor.
Beef Eaters Restaurant features two connected grand dining rooms and a cocktail-dining lounge. It has 4 private party and banquet rooms serving from 10 to 300, plus a quaint wine cellar table for 10. It has two bars, 4 fireplaces, 3 shaded patios and a large porte cochere drive entrance.
It opened in 1961 at 300 W. Camelback and was closed shortly before the passing of its 88-year-old owner & founder, Jay Newton, in 2006. Although the restaurant closed six years ago, its full website remains, floating like a ghost on the Internet.
In January of this year, Niki D’Andrea wrote about the history of Beef Eaters in an excellent Phoenix Magazine 2-page article called, “Steak. Out.” Apparently, Jay Newton was a former sheep rancher in Utah who named his restaurant after a common nickname for Yeoman Warders (guards) at the Tower of London.
According to an April 14, 2012 Phoenix New Times article, the current real estate owner of the building had an offer from Jon Kitchell and Lorenzo Perez of Venue Projects (they also helped develop Windsor and Churn in Phoenix) and both sides have 60 days to make a decision before it’s a done deal.
Is it June 14th, yet?