We were a little dismayed to drive down 16th Street in Phoenix recently and discover a new sign plastered on the funky little green shack that used to house an outpost of Two Hippies Beach House.
As it turns out, the joint's new owners are original Two Hippies' founders Andy and Kim Goldstein, who started the local chain back in 2007. Earlier in the year, the Goldsteins received a call from the location's former owner, who wanted to get out of the business. He offered to sell the place back to the Goldsteins and they jumped at the chance, not wanting to lose such the unusual-looking and very prominent building.
They took over the spot in March and ran under the radar until about three weeks ago, when the restaurant was rechristened, "Fat-Ass Burgers," after their bestselling meat patties.
Ironically, the Goldstein's new joint is located directly across the street from Weight Watchers, a fact brought up during a recent interview with Channel 10 News. "The folks at Weight Watchers don't have a problem with it," says Andy. "We have salads and use fresh ingredients, so they send people over here all the time."
The name Fat Ass solicits a big reaction, whether from larger customers who get a kick out of ordering "two Fat Asses," or regulars who can't even bring themselves to order the burger by name, instead pointing to it on the menu and giggling like schoolgirls at their first dance.
The restaurant will look mighty familiar to locals who've popped in the cluttered beach shack before. The ceiling and walls are lined with groovy psychedelic peace posters, and the shelves are filled with knick-knacks like iridescent hula-hoops and a pastel-colored ceramic VW Bug.
The smothered hot dogs and tacos Two Hippies is known for are still on the menu, along with cheese steak and a more prominent Semi-Famous Fat Ass Burger section.
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Andy isn't certain how the name Fat Ass originated, though he says Fat Ass Burgers were often on the menu at the Long Wong's locations opened by his brother. Whatever the source, the new moniker is drawing folks in, so much so that the Goldsteins are looking to expand the Fat Ass franchise in the future. Until then, Andy, Kim and one of their sons can be found in their new home base at 3102 North 16th Street in Phoenix, wearing tie-dyed aprons and serving Fat Asses to their loyal fans.