The internationally renowned Lulu Belle bar and restaurant opened for business in 1953 in the burgeoning city of Scottsdale. This location was established during the development of the Indian Bend Wash, beginning in the 1950’s and booming by the 1970’s. This Gay Nineties themed bar and diner catered to friends and family during the day and as a place for men to kick back, socialize, and share a cold one at night. Known to some as the “only watering hole in town” and reminiscent of Manhattan’s famous McSorley’s Gay Saloon.
The restaurant featured two sizeable dining areas, the Garter Room and the Rose Room, as well as an Old West styled bar. The tables were topped with roses and rooms were decorated with authentic artifacts from the California Gold Rush. But the history of the Lulu Belle bar and restaurant is not only one of wine and roses. As the surrounding area developed operating costs increased. The first of many ownership changes occurred after a sale to a Cincinnati industrialist in 1975.
The location varied in styles as management changed over the years with several changes during the 1990’s. The restaurant functioned for a short period as a jazz club, an ice cream shop, and was known for a while as Lulu Belle’s Mexican Cantina & Restaurant. Today, the establishment that had once harkened back to the gilded age no longer exists. It could not survive the unforgiving downtown Scottsdale financial climate. Perhaps the numerous changes in ownership and management could be blamed, or praised in their attempts to change and adapt. The building still stands and numerous redevelopment options have been considered over the years and is currently the home of David's Hamburgers.