You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
When East Phoenix fave Don Jose Mexican Food closed its doors in December 2007, locals mourned the loss of an institution, a place where families had enjoyed old school Sonoran Mexican food since 1966.
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The place sat vacant for the past three years, but as of a week ago, it's back in action, brought to life by two longtime fans, Jeff Pittman and Matt McDonald. (Pittman was an employee there as a teen, nearly 40 years ago -- talk about history!)
They bought the concept and recipes, but aside from updating the kitchen equipment, they left everything else pretty much they way it's always been, says Allison Chun, McDonald's partner. "It's such a memory to people."
Don Jose is open daily, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., at 3734 E. Thomas Rd. Call 602-955-7870 for more information.