Some good news: Doc & Eddy’s reopened for business today, more than 16 months after it was nearly destroyed by fire.
There’s a catch, though: The popular Tempe sports bar and restaurant will only be offering curbside service with a limited menu five days a week — for the time being.
According to general manager Sean Cleary, Doc & Eddy’s will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, with items like appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, and cheesesteaks available for purchase. (Chicken wings, a popular choice at the bar, are also on the menu.)
Orders can be picked up outside the front door of the business, which is located near Rural and Baseline roads.
More menu items and alcoholic drinks, including the new 909 margaritas, will be offered starting next week. At the moment, Cleary says they’re keeping things simple.
“We just wanted to just dip our toes in the water because we’ve been closed for so long and because we're going into the unknown,” he says. “So we’re just going to have our staples to start with and then go from there.”
Doc & Eddy’s is also limited by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s current executive orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed bars with a Series 6 or 7 liquor license except for curbside service and to-go orders.
“It’s the best we could do under the current circumstances, and we're just going for it,” Cleary says. “We're just happy to be back, even if it’s not the same as being fully open. This is something we’ve been working toward for more than a year now.”
Doc & Eddy’s closed down in March 2019 after a massive fire completely gutted the business. No one was injured in the blaze, which was caused by an improperly discarded cigarette. Owners Charlotte and Patrick Karnos, who have operated Doc & Eddy’s since the 1980s, had the place completely rebuilt over the past 16 months.
Cleary says they’ve kept things largely the same, save for a few changes.
“We wanted people to feel like they’re coming home again, but we’ve done some modifications, like making the patio larger,” he says. “The whole place is bigger, better, and brighter.”
Cleary says even though they're "about 98 percent ready to go," the plan is to fully open after Ducey’s restrictions are lifted and owners “feel safe and confident enough to do so.”
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An outdoor canopy and table equipped with a plexiglass shield will be located outside Doc & Eddy’s entrance where orders can be placed or picked up. Patrons can also browse the menu on their phones using the SpotMenus app.
Cleary says employees will be gloved and masked at all times and trays and carts will be sanitized between each order. The bar is also encouraging patrons to stay in their cars while waiting and to order and pay in advance over the phone (payment with cards or cash will be accepted at the establishment).
“We’ve set things up so there’s as little risk as possible with placing or picking up an order,” Cleary says. “Even if we were allowed to be fully open for business [with indoor dining], we still would've started out slowly and kept things safe. It gives our staff time to get up to speed with training and everything. At the end of the day, it’s a win-win situation.”