Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is advertising-free, and is supported by my subscribers on Patreon. History adventuring posts are shared there daily. The basic tier is a dollar a month, and the PhD tier, which includes "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos, is five dollars a month, and is discounted for seniors, veterans, and students. If you're a subscriber, thank you! You make this happen!
At the Matchbox Sports Bar and Grill in June of 2017
As a history adventurer, I like to time-travel. So let's go to the the Matchbox Bar and Grill in Peoria, Arizona last night, Thursday, June 8th. If you understand my sense of humor, you may see that I'm kidding, but just a little bit. To me, time-traveling has no boundaries. I'm not limited to a particular time frame, if it happened in the past, or will happen in the future, I want to go there. Thank you for coming along with me. We're at Grand and 91st Avenue.
If you've never been to the Matchbox Bar and Grill in Peoria, Arizona, that's not surprising. I was there with a good friend last eating drinking beer and eating a burger, and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. We had a choice of sitting anywhere, and decided against sitting in the booths because the decorative lamps that hang over the tables had glaring lights. So we moved over to a table that was nearby the video machines. Of course, it would have been a crowded and noisy area, but there was nobody there. I took a look at the video machines and tried to calculate their vintage, probably early '90s, if not late '80s, at least in design. They obviously worked, and could accept money, but the graphics reminded me of the very first video games that I played way back in the late '80s in Los Angeles. Remember Road Blasters? Nah, nobody does.
If you're tired of waiting in lines, you may want to try the Matchbox Sports Bar and Grill. It was so empty that there was no question of having to wait for anything. Our server attended to us in a way that made me think that having two big cash customers, who actually wanted to eat hamburgers, was something kinda special. I would guess that, since it's in a Day's Inn (a motel), that business fluctuates. Apparently it's been there since 2005, so there must be more business than what I saw on a Thursday night. When we asked when the place closed, she said gave a vague answer that made me wonder if she was kidding, or if the place would just close up after a certain number of hours completely empty.
As I sat there I imagined what it would have been to stop in a little "greasy spoon" or bar (it would actually have been a Speak Easy, or a Blind Pig, in 1917 - Arizona prohibited alcohol in 1915, five years before it became a Federal Law) in Phoenix 100 years ago. Probably pretty much the same thing. There would have been things hanging on the walls, whatever the owner of the place thought would cover up the walls, some old people would have shuffled in for a beer, some young people would have stopped by, laughing and bringing their joyous lives to what had been a quiet and dusty place. I often wonder what they would say if walls could talk. Last night the walls watched me eat a hamburger. Not the most exciting history in Phoenix, but the slice of life that interests me the most.
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Posted by Brad Hall