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May 23, 2007 05:47 PM

PHX: Second locations for Lux and Welcome Diner

I read an interesting article in the Republic today about a new development planned for the old Smitty's site at 16th St. and Buckeye Road. Reportedly, it will include second locations for Lux Coffeebar and Welcome Diner. I knew a second site was in the works for Lux because I overheard a bit of conversation on the topic while photographing a cappuccino for my blog a few weeks ago, but the location is a surprise. It's a risky location given South Phoenix's downscale image, but this is the type of risk-taking that the city needs.

I've tried to find the article online at AZ Central, but so far no results.

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  1. My only hope is that they don't suffer what a lot of independents do when they expand; namely, quality at both locations goes down the tubes because the owner can be at two places at once.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Seth Chadwick

      I wish that everyone wasn't so negative on the perspective of an owner opening a second location and quality going down. Everyone in this town wants more independent restaurants coffee bars etc. and doesn't give anyone the benefit of the doubt to get started on the right foot. This town needs to embrace and support people that are going to take the risk in the area of expansion to help facilitate growth as well as to help work the kinks and dynamics of owning and operating multiple locations. if you need everything to be perfect from the start that is only capable by an overfunded dumb downed concept chain establishment. Independents are quirky, hardworking and forward thinking and just typically need a little extra local support and time to have multiple locations operate properly. Let's help support Lux and Welcome Diner and promote the growth of our city's culture.

      1. re: tmoney

        I don't think that anyone -- much less everyone -- is negative about second locations of successful indy restaurants. In fact, I think everyone in this conversation wants both enterprises to succeed. The cautionary point that Seth makes, and that I agree with, is that sometimes a successful restaurant with a single location suffers when it expands prematurely. Blue Burrito Grill is one example. It was great as a single location at 32nd St. and Camelback, grew too quickly, suffered in quality, and has since retrenched to a shadow of its former self. Pita Jungle, on the other hand, is still providing solid quality at four locations and has not developed a corporate, "chainy" feel. It's something that varies on a case-by-case basis, and I wish both Lux and Welcome success with their second locations.

        1. re: tmoney

          I think you read more into my statement than was there. I wish the very, very best for Lux and Welcome Diner. I want them to be successful because that encourages new independents and helps the economy, etc. I like Lux and while I haven't been to Welcome Diner, want it to be a raging success.

          I am not on a crusade to pop in on opening day with a dagger waiting to strike. However, I have seen enough independent places in this Valley and in other metro areas expand and fall apart in short order because the owner couldn't be in two places at once.

          Time, of course, will tell, but if the quality suffers at Lux and Welcome Diner due to the expansion, I don't see any reason why I shouldn't spend my income somewhere else.

          1. re: Seth Chadwick

            i agree i came off a little harsh in my statements, but i am excited to see some responses to the point of view. i guess that i end reading reviews in the valley chowhound, az rep, phx mag etc. that is too premature on judging a new spot and would like to see more valley wide enthusiasm for such indie places. i think that chow hound is a great venue for us foodies to communicate and share experiences good, bad, indifferent. i am just sick and tired of quotes of brad thompson's staements that phx is not a real city and he needs to find a real city to open his restaurant. as well as chefs gregory casale, wiliam bradley, sandy garica, pacifico mata, fernando divina, Micheal Mishkin, James Mcdevitt etc. note seeing either the support or enthusiasm to keep their interest. they are extremely talented chefs that the valley sorely misses and needs to evaluate their position on local talent. too many people out here tend to offer lip service but don't follow through on their actions. West of the Western blows Scottsdale Culinary Festival and Taste at Kierland out of the water. We need to reverse the trend of seeing lines out the door of maggiano's and cheesecake factory and put all those butts in methode bistro, mosiac, see saw, eleve and plenty of others before we lose any more talented chefs to other cities. I call phx home and want to have awesome restaurants here. I think if we can make people have the awareness to support Indies we will become the food city we foodies dream of. sorry about the long rant. i really love food

      2. I'm surprised that Welcome Diner is opening a second location given how much the building is part of the experience.

        3 Replies
        1. re: IamJacksBrain

          According to the article -- which I still can't find online -- the second Welcome Diner location will be at the site of the old lunch counter in the Smitty's store, giving it some classic diner feel similar to the building at 10th and Roosevelt.

          1. re: silverbear

            I used to love the lunch counter at Smitty's as a kid! I wonder if they're going to install a soft serve ice cream machine...

            1. re: silverbear

              If they do it really right, they could pull in boatloads of people just by getting everyone reminiscing about the old Smitty's restaurants.

          2. Crazy location choice. That's all I will say.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mamamia

              Maybe they wanted to outdo their current location. You have to admit, that burned-out house across the street does add ambiance... :)

            2. actually - this one will mostly likely work out, and thats due to sloane mcfarland. he's the developer who did the space at lux/pane bianco/passages and the former pawn shop next door. he's expanded his empire do develop by buckeye. this new complex is part of his new plan. don't quote me here, but on the indie underground rumor mill seems to indicate a bunch more sloane projects along buckeye shortly.

              he's concerned about multi-use, likes independant businesses, a huge fan of architecture and design, and is a bit of a foodie. all things considered i wish he'd develop some stuff over by my quasi historic stretch of central phoenix. we could use it!!!!

              1. All I can say is I'm thrilled Lux will be opening at a location I can reach more quickly. I will do everything in my power (ie, buy LOTS of coffee) to help them succeed.

                1 Reply
                1. re: don giovanni

                  we want lux3 in scottsdale - anywhere in scottsdale just so we don't have to trek to buy beans. : )