Restaurant News

Michael Babcock and Wayne Coats Are Leaving Welcome Hospitality

4.jpg, Exterior of the Welcome Diner
4.jpg, Exterior of the Welcome Diner mercandetti photography
Welcome Diner, the bustling hangout spotted at its new location in the Garfield District by its glowing pink neon sign, is losing two of its original band members: owner Michael Alan Babcock and general manager Wayne Coats. Both team members announced the decision to step down from their positions at Welcome Hospitality by the end of May via social media today.

"Wayne and myself have spent the last 6.5 years nurturing a community, building life long relationships with a deluge of incredible humans and businesses, supporting each other through our own successes and failures," says Babcock via Instagram and other platforms.

As of press time, neither Babcock or Coats stated what the next project will be, if there is one, but Welcome Diner and Welcome Chicken + Donuts will continue to operate under new leadership.

Nor was it stated why the two are leaving, but there are hints within the statement, including:

"What we searched for in all of this chaos over the years was to bring and share happiness with others. That’s the shit that got us up everyday. That’s the weight of what we carried with us everyday. That’s what it meant to represent Welcome Hospitality. At times we lost our own sense of self in the surrender of that process."

More updates to come as the story unfolds. To learn more, visit the Welcome Diner website and the Welcome Chicken + Donuts website.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.