Monti’s La Casa Vieja has been there since the beginning of Tempe. This building was first built by Charles Hayden. After seeing the river and the surrounding land he decided it would be a good place to build and settle. He built a general store, a flour mill, and created a ferry system to cross the salt river. The area became known as Hayden Ferry because of his ferry system. When he started building the flour mill he also decided to build his home. This sat across from the mill and was completed in 1873. His home was small adobe building big enough for just him. This adobe building is the original structure of Monti’s La Casa Vieja.
As Charles Hayden began a family he added onto the house in 1876. It was there his son Carl Hayden was born. Carl Hayden went on to become the senator of Arizona. He also had three daughters in the house. Between 1876-1883 a second story and more rooms were added. In 1889 the family moved to a new house. The house was then given the nickname La Casa Vieja. Which means the old house in spanish. The house became a boarding house for many years. The Hayden daughters renovated the house and brought it back to it’s original structure in 1924. They opened the house as a restaurant and tea house. In the 1930’s they were forced to shut down because of finances. After the Hayden daughters sold the house, it continued to be a restaurant by several different owners. That is until Leonard Monti bought it in 1954.
Leonard Monti opened the well known restaurant in 1956 and named it Monti’s La Casa Vieja. The restaurant reflected the area’s history very well. Many old pictures and artifacts are placed all around the building. The restaurant was passed down to his son. It had been in operation for almost 60 years. However it was sold in October 2014 and shut down in November 2014. The oldest parts of the restaurant will be preserved. It is expected to reopen in 2017 with a high rise built directly above it.