Flagstaff residents said goodbye to a number of favorite local businesses and welcomed in some new ones in 2017.
Two Flagstaff icons that closed their doors this year were Granny’s Closet and Hunt’s Building Center. Granny’s actually closed its doors late last year, but the contents of the property and a lot of memories were auctioned off in April. The Zanzucchi family had run the business for more than 40 years.
“There’s a lot of memories here for people,” said Russell Mann from Flagstaff Auctions. Mann was in control of the auction that sold off most of the equipment and memorabilia in the restaurant.
For some people its Granny’s pies or sauce or Ferdinando’s homemade bread, he said. It was a place to catch a Friday night sports game and some 10-cent wings. Others remember celebrating wedding anniversaries tucked into a special booth in the corner of the main dining room or the disco the building housed in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Now the property waits silently for a new owner or lease, as the five-story Hub, an apartment complex designed for college students, goes up next door.
Another favorite that closed its doors this year was Hunt’s Building Center. The shop closed in June after nearly 60 years in business, when its owner Curtis Crane retired. The building was taken over by Barn Brothers, a local estate and business liquidation company.
The Museum Club, a Route 66 icon, also closed in September. But judging by recent Facebook posts, it has a new owner and will hold a grand reopening at the end of the year.
The Zanzucchis, who own the property, leased the building to two business partners that operated the country music bar and honky tonk for about six months before it closed. Mary Butwinick, one of the partners in the business, said that a number of things both inside and outside of the business contributed to the closure. The other business partner is Bret Rios.
The honky tonk has been affectionately known as “the Zoo” for years due to the large number of stuffed and mounted animals decorating its walls. It was originally a taxidermy shop and museum that sat at the very edge of town in the 1930s. It became a night club in 1936 and has served as a roadhouse and bar since then.
Second Chance Center for Animals closed its doors in April after financial difficulties. The animals were transferred out to other shelters in the area. The shelter was started by Dick and Jean Wilson in 2004. The couple supported the center until 2015.
The Flagstaff SCA Tissue production plant was a major employer that closed its doors in June and laid off 78 people. The Swedish company had recently increased its capacity by purchasing Wausau Paper, eliminating the need for the Flagstaff plant.
Other Flagstaff businesses that closed over the year were the sandwich shop Cheba Hut, Picazzo’s Pizza, Native Grill & Wings and Maloney’s Tavern.
Mia’s Bar, which closed in 2016, was replaced this year by Cornish Pasty Co., which specializes in the traditional pocket meal pastries that were carried by miners in 1800s in Cornwall. The Cornish Pasty Co. offers more than 40 different types of pasty on their menu.
Also opening this year was the breakfast nook Carmels; Trail Quest Brewing Co., which replaced Busters; La Vetta Ristorante Italiano, which replaced San Felipe’s; and Cedar House Coffee.