Filed Under Story

Lulu Belle

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.

Images

Lulu Belle Postcard
Lulu Belle Postcard "The Lulu Belle, Scottsdale, Arizona Recreating the spirit and decor of the Gay Nineties era of the Old West, this colorful restaurant-bar has become famous as one of the West's most interesting showplaces." Source: [Postcard of Lulu Belle], postcard, Date Unknown; Phoenix, Arizona. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth563047/: accessed October 6, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting McFaddin-Ward House Museum. Creator: Petley Studios Date: ca. 1967
Garter Room
Garter Room The Garter Room. Showcasing the Gay '90's decor, featuring a rose on every table. Source: [Postcard of Garter Room at Lulu Belle], postcard, Date Unknown; Phoenix, Arizona. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth562162/: accessed November 13, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting McFaddin-Ward House Museum. Creator: Pentley Studios Date: ca. 1955
Lulu Belle Bartenders
Lulu Belle Bartenders Friendly bartenders Source: [Postcard of Lulu Belle Bartenders], postcard, Date Unknown; Phoenix, Arizona. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth563099/: accessed November 13, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting McFaddin-Ward House Museum. Creator: Pentley Studios Date: ca. 1955
Lulu Belle Intersection
Lulu Belle Intersection Cowboy gazes at the always busy restaurant from his corral-styled bench across the street. Source: Scottsdale History Collection. Scottsdale Digital Collection. Scottsdale Heritage Connection. SCOT-HIS-2012-2640 <http://scottsdale.polarislibrary.com/polaris/search/title.aspx?ctx=1.1033.0.0.3&pos=17> accessed December 9, 2016. Date: 1965
Greetings from Lulu Belle
Greetings from Lulu Belle Bartender and staff greet visitors to the newly opened Lulu Belle bar and restaurant. Source: Scottsdale Historical Society Digital Collection. Scottsdale Digital Collection. Scottsdale Heritage Connection. SCOT-SHS-2014-0609 <http://scottsdale.polarislibrary.com/polaris/search/title.aspx?ctx=1.1033.0.0.3&pos=1> Accessed December 9, 2016. Date: 1955

Location

7212 E. Main St., Scottsdale, AZ

Metadata

Aidan Solsten, “Lulu Belle,” Salt River Stories, accessed May 19, 2024, https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/142.