[Phoenix-pm] beer night at Four Peaks
pm at upt.org
Tue Dec 20 15:15:55 PST 2005
On 20-Dec-2005 Anthony R. Nemmer wrote:
> I hadn't realized that Bandersnatch had gone out of Biz. When did this
> happen? Do they plan on a reincarnation? Seems to me they were doing
> really well! Are they in the way of the new light rail or something?
Bandersnatch closed their doors in September of 2003. It's a long sordid tale
combining many factors that eventually led to its demise. One of those factors
was the simple fact that the business was having peaks and valleys that
eventually didn't support an ongoing venture. During the winter they did
really well, especially on game days. During the summer their business really
dwindled but they seemed to hang in there because the up's and down's managed
to even out somehow. After a while, the way the story was told to me, the
valleys became somewhat deeper than the peaks the business was losing money.
This is why you used to see the Banders building open on game days even as soon
as a few months ago, the current owners realized how much money can be made by
selling bud and miller to the college kids only during the games. This isn't
being done by the old Banders ownership though.
Then in 2001 the City of Tempe passed the smoking ban. It wouldn't have been
so bad had it been a state-wide ban like California passed in 1998. However,
individual municipalities passing their own smoking laws had the effect of
driving the smokers (which unfortunately make up a lot of the beer drinkers) to
neighboring cities where they could just ignore the smoking prohibition.
Then the rumors started coming out of city hall (not directly, and later
completely denied I'm told) of an emminent domain takeover of Bander's
property. Since Bandersnatch had been lucky enough to grow up in an area
of Tempe that took off (Bandersnatch opened their doors sometime in the mid
1970's) they now owned prime Tempe real estate just off of Mill Ave. I'd heard
the idea was to turn Bandersnatch into a parking garage or something.
To add to it all, running a restaurant business is very hard work, Joe and his
wife weren't getting any younger.. and then the owners of Martini Ranch offered
them a very good deal that Joe couldn't say no to, with the way everything was
Last I was in the area (few months ago) the Banders building had weeds growing
outside the locked gates and the inside patio area looked a horrible mess. I
can't even stand to drive past there anymore. I don't know if they've torn it
Joe Mocca gave his brewer (Joe Bob Grisham) all the brewing equipment and
permission to reuse the Bandersnatch brand in hopes that he could revive it
somehow .. someday. Last I heard they were still looking for a location and
investment from people who wouldn't want to completely take the business over.
I doubt it'll ever happen.
Bandersnatch was the first brewpub ever in the State of Arizona.
P.S. I hope it's not too much off the lists' charter, if anyone is interested in
homebrewing as a hobby I can point them to the local homebrew chapter via
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