Earlier this month we told you that the second location of the well-loved Phoenix institution, Miracle Mile Deli, had closed its doors. A message on the restaurant's Facebook page cited "new business opportunities" as the reason for the Scottsdale restaurant's closure and promised diners would still be able to get their Straw sandwich fix at the Camelback location.
That didn't stop many readers from wondering if Miracle Mile was on its last leg, so we sat down with Miracle Mile Vice President Josh Garcia to find out exactly what the company has planned.
Here's the short version of what Garcia had to say: Miracle Mile Deli isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
For the time being, Garcia isn't able to release details about an exact location, but told us that he's working on opening a new Miracle Mile location somewhere in Phoenix. He says they had to close the Scottsdale location because the excessively large restaurant was holding them back from expanding in a new direction.
"The need for an 8,000-square-foot restaurant really isn't there anymore," Garcia explains.
That's due in part to the slowed economy and the fact that the nearby Scottsdale Airpark still sits mostly vacant.
Now that the Scottsdale location is closed, the company is free to focus on launching a sort of Miracle Mile 2.0.
Garcia says the plans for the new Miracle Mile location, which will an entirely new build, include a sleek, "retro-art deco" design that blends the feel of an old-school deli with modern style. The concept will still remain the same with a cafeteria-style service and the familiar menu of New York-style deli eats, all presented in a cozier atmosphere.
"It's going to be a big change for our brand and our family," says Garcia, who's grandfather started the family-owned business more than 50 years ago.
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Other changes Garcia plans to introduce at the modernized Miracle Mile Deli include offering four beers on tap and serving breakfast.
Over the next seven to 10 years Garcia says he'd like to have between four and five Miracle Mile locations and at some point, he would like to update the Camelback restaurant. He'd like to see Miracle Mile break into the West Valley market and says he'd love to return to Scottsdale at some point, though it would be a while down the road.
The goal is to have the second location of Miracle Mile Deli open during the first quarter of 2015. We'll share more details about the location as we get them.