Devil's Den, not Front Door, set for Mill opening
Originally Posted by TempeSilverFox
"Front Door" is the name of a new restaurant that will be attempting to make a go of it at the NE corner of Mill and University. I hadn't realized that DiVerti was no longer open, but the article says it closed right before New Years. That corner seems cursed. Since I've lived in Tempe (since 2005) that corner has been Ruby Tuesdays, Suckerpunch Sally's, DiVerti and now "Front Door." I suppose a parade of attempts is much better than the building sitting empty though right?
Also, a new Thai restaurant called "5 R Cha Thai" opened at 203 East 7th St a couple of weeks ago. It's located near House of Tricks in what I call, the "Dead Zone" of downtown Tempe.
See the article from the Tempe Republic below:
Negotiations on the Front Door restaurant expected to open in downtown Tempe next month fell through, but the high-profile location is in such demand that a new owner already signed a lease on the space.
On Tuesday, property owner Mike Frost said that a tenant signed a lease on Friday to open Devil's Den Sports Grill in his building on the northeastern corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive.
Frost said he thinks that the restaurateur's business concept, which is based on an Arizona State University sports theme, will attract the many ASU students, faculty and alumni who work, live or go to school in the area.
"I liked their whole idea of being a place for ASU," he said. "They said to me, 'There is not a sports bar (downtown) where alumni and students can go.'"
Frederic Zimmerman, who had hoped to open the Front Door restaurant in the building at 4 E. University, told the Tempe Republic on Tuesday that he "couldn't come to an agreement on a lease." He added that the lack of free parking near the building was a sticking point.
Frost said he never had a deal with Zimmerman.
Charlie Maxwell, who will operate Devil's Den, said he was competing with Zimmerman for the space. "This is a great location. I'm really happy we got it," he said.
Maxwell said that given the many parking lots near University and Mill he does not foresee a problem with parking.
The past two restaurants to give the location a shot in recent years closed after struggling to attract long-term business in the down economy.
But Maxwell said he has high hopes for Devil's Den because it fills a void in downtown Tempe. Maxwell's concept for the restaurant came when he realized that the majority of downtown Tempe customers are ASU sports fans yet there is not a restaurant on Mill catering to that market.
Maxwell said that chain restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters are fine but that the Valley's loads of Sun Devil fans should have their own sports bar on Mill. Devil's Den will be decked in Sun Devils memorabilia and maroon and gold.
"I went to ASU and I really wanted it themed after ASU's heritage and celebrating ASU athletics," he said. Maxwell recited a list of famous former Sun Devils, including Reggie Jackson, Danny White, Pat Tillman, Phil Mickelson, Barry Bonds and Jake Plummer.
"Think of all the great athletes that went through there," he said. "I want this to be a really proud place where ASU fans can call home."
Although there is not an ASU-themed restaurant in downtown Tempe, Devil's Advocate Bar and Grill opened near University and Rural Road in 2009. The restaurant near Sun Devil Stadium is decorated with Sun Devil memorabilia and caters to students and alumni.
Devil's Den is Maxwell's first restaurant. The Mesa native said the menu will include All-American food including pizza, hot wings, gourmet hamburgers and sandwiches. A variety of drink and food specials including 25-cent wings will be offered. Prices will range from $4 to $10.
The restaurant will host a soft opening on Super Bowl Sunday. Although Maxwell will still be putting finishing touches on the restaurant, he said he wants to open on a day that sports fans consider a celebration.