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Local Restaurants and The Development of Apache Boulevard

The Development of Apache Boulevard and The Local Restaurants It Effected.

Apache Boulevard served as not only the main highway between Tempe and Mesa but, as a major tourist route and a spot for both locals and tourist to get a bite to eat. Following World War II road side fruit stands, such as the Alma and Tempe made local produce available to Tempe’s growing population. Restaurants Such as, Chico’s and The Dash Inn flourished serving tourist, locals, and Arizona State Students alike. In the 1980’s Pete’s Fish and Chips came to Apache and quickly became a local favorite. With the continued growth of Arizona State University, these locals eats prospered however, as the University expanded its influence over Apache Boulevard became increasingly powerful. This would eventually lead to the University taking over these popular restaurant's to further expand Arizona State and its Tempe campus.

The Dash Inn popped up in the 1970’s. Adjacent from a ever expanding Arizona State University, It had that laid back casual feel that went along with the 1970’s culture. That quickly made it a favorite with locals and ASU students alike. This generated lifelong memories for people who stopped in whether for a beer or for a meal. It also left its mark on the individuals who worked there. Fans of The Dash Inn created a Facebook page to recall these memories such as Wes Gasele Recalls "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.” He also stated how much the job meant to him “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!” Although The Dash Inn and other local restaurants got taken over by a ever expanding Arizona State University, their memories and stories live on.


Former Employees of The Dash Inn
Former Employees of The Dash Inn Source:



Irelan Inoshita, “Local Restaurants and The Development of Apache Boulevard,” Salt River Stories, accessed July 16, 2024,