Local Restaurants confront Suburbanization

Serving as both a major tourist route and the highway between Tempe and Mesa, Apache Boulevard catered to both travelers and hungry locals. Restaurants, taverns, and food vendors flourished following World War II. Road side fruit stands, such as the Alma, Tempe, Palmer, and Eddie’s made local produce available to Tempe’s growing population. Restaurants like Chico’s, The Dash Inn, and the Golden Coin served students and residents alike. Numerous bars like the Oxbow, Hatties, or Frank’s Friendly Tavern also sprouted along the Apache strip in the 1960s and 1970s. Local favorite Pete’s Fish and Chips came to the street in the 1980s. The growth of ASU’s footprint contributed both to the market for local food and drink, even as the university increasingly exerted its influence on the street.

The Dash Inn, adjacent to a growing university, had a casual feel in the 1970s that generated lifelong memories for those who visited the inn for a meal or worked there. On the Fans of the Dash Inn Facebook Page, Wes Gasele recalled, "I worked there in 1971. I was new in town, playing cards with some new friends across the street in the "Wigwam" motel, one of them said, "I thought you were going to look for a job . . ." So I went across the street where Hash was painting the Dash Inn with some workers and I said "I need a job." He said, "Can you start tomorrow?" I said, "Sure." So a total of 5 minutes had elapsed and I rejoined my card game and the girl says, "No luck, huh?" I said, "Yes, I start tomorrow." I was sleeping in my car at the time, and the next day I was making $1.16 per hour washing dishes, and getting free food. I worked there from August 1971 to February 1974. My best job ever!"