Restaurant News

Only Remaining Location of Bill Johnson's Big Apple to Close and Become a Parking Lot

Things have been rough for the folks behind the Bill Johnson's Big Apple family of restaurants for quite some time. On November 12 the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but that didn't stop the restaurant's locations in Mesa and North Phoenix from shuttering last year.

That left only one restaurant open, the original Bill Johnson's Big Apple located at 3757 East Van Buren in Phoenix. Now, according to The Arizona Republic, that restaurant is set to close, too.

See also: Bill Johnson's Big Apple Hopes to Endure Contentious Times

The more than 60 year old restaurant will be sold to Gateway Community College, which plans to pave over the restaurant in order to make room for a parking lot. According to the story, the college will pay $945,000 for the restaurant and lease it back to the company for two years, after which time they will turn the land into a parking lot.

The issue appears as "Approval of Lease of Restaurant Property to Bill Johnson's Restaurant, Inc." on the agenda for a Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board meeting to be held on Tuesday, January 27.

In May last year the North Phoenix location of the restaurant closed, followed by the Mesa location within the next month. Memorabilia from those locations were auctioned off online.

Bill Johnson, a cowboy/radio personality/stuntman/actor, opened the original restaurant in 1956 and used to broadcast his radio show from inside the dining room. He would feature famous guests such as Wayne Newton, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings. Johnson passed away in 1966.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria