Apr 17, 2024 - News

MacAlpine's is open for business again nearly four years after closing

A blue and yellow building front with a sign for a restaurant called MacAlpine's.

Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

MacAlpine's Diner and Soda Fountain is back in business.

The big picture: The historic diner on Seventh Street shut its doors in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic and faced permanent closure.

  • Owner Monica Heizenrader began raising money on GoFundMe last year.
  • She hoped to raise $93,500 to cover reopening costs.
  • The GoFundMe has only raised about $34,000, but Heizenrader was able to reopen part time, thanks as well to borrowed money from friends and family.

State of play: As of three weekends ago, MacAlpine's is open for lunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is open 11:30am-3pm this week.

  • "It's baby steps," said Heizenrader, who told Axios she plans to expand their hours once she hires and trains more staff.

Zoom in: Heizenrader said business — and the response — has been great since the return.

  • Their first day was emotional for her and longtime customers, some of whom cried because they had worried the restaurant would never reopen.
  • "It was just so exciting. People just love MacAlpine's and the history and what has been created here," she said. "Most of these people I haven't seen in four years."

Flashback: MacAlpine's opened in 1929, and Heizenrader says Frank Lloyd Wright, Barry Goldwater, John McCain, Rose Mofford and Wayne Newton have been regular customers.

  • Heizenrader and her husband Cary, who has since passed, bought the restaurant in 2001.

What's next: Heizenrader is planning to sell some of her jewelry to cover the cost of more staff and supplies.

  • She's still hoping to raise money through GoFundMe as well.

Jeremy's thought bubble: I'm a Phoenix native who loves his city's history, but I've somehow never been to MacAlpine's. Now that it's open again, I can't wait for my first visit.

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