Cover Story

Visual Aid: The Past Lives of Tempe's Bars and Restaurants

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Tempe History Museum
Oxbow Tavern in 1975 at 1810 East Apache Boulevard in Tempe.
Not so long ago, Tempe was one of the few drinking and dining destinations in central Arizona. Over the years, many a restaurateur or tavern proprietor has set up shop in Tempe, hoping to attract business from the alternative thinkers — and alternative drinkers — who’ve come for Arizona State University but stuck around after discovering the charms of life in a scruffy college town.

Many of those establishments, of course, closed. New ones arose. The circle of life. But occasionally, we find ourselves thinking about those old ghosts, scratching our heads trying to recall the name of such-and-such place.

Here’s a visual aid to 11 Tempe locations that have amassed a long list of memorable (or not-so-memorable) tenants over the years.