Chow Bella

Food Blight

There is a shell of a building at the southeast corner of McClintock and Broadway in Tempe that can't hold a restaurant to save its soul. Every time some aspiring businessman gets the bright idea to open a new venture there, I want to go in and slap them upside the head.

The site used to be a Burger King but it closed a few years back. Why? So Burger King could open a new place not 100 feet away in the same parking lot! After Burger King closed, the building was vacant for a while but eventually it was leased by someone who thought it would be a good location for a Chicago-style hot dog joint. Now, what American doesn't like hot dogs, but did the owners ever look across the street and notice Ted's - home of the best wieners in the Valley? So the Chicago joint lasted about as long as it takes you to eat one of Ted's charbroiled foot-longs.

But wait, it gets better. Rising from the ashes of the ill-fated hot dog stand was this 24-hour Mexican dive called Chimi Changas. My husband occasionally wound up there when making a last-ditch, late night fast-food run. He'd eat their "crappy frickin' chorizo burritos" and promise he'd never go back.

Anyway, cue Tevye singing "Sunrise, Sunset" because you know how this story goes. One morning, poof, Chimi Changas was empty. What's especially galling is that the owners never bothered to scrape the orange and yellow paint off the windows that advertised their "Grand Opening."

The space is again for lease. Anyone have a bright idea for a restaurant?