Menu Collection, Part Two: Phoenix

by Derrick Bostrom


When I was a kid, my mom worked to help put my dad through school (and later raised my brother and I as a single parent), so eating out usually meant a trip to the "Food Bazaar" (one of America's original food courts) or my brother's personal favorite restaurant, McDonalds (wow -- remember them?). But a restaurant meal with my grandparents was a rare occurance, since eating out with them meant strict decorum was observed. And since that rarely happened with us kids, well...that means it rarely happened.

One evening, my brother was off with our grandma somewhere, so my grandfather decided to take a chance on me. With mom in tow, the two of us tramped to the nearby Guggy's coffee shop, situated in the old Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. Nothing like today's massive temple with the same name, the old Fashion Square was an innovative three-level outdoor affair, reflecting the  upscale graciousness and relaxed pace that could be found in Scottsdale in the those days.

The Scottsdale Guggy's was very different from the one at Chris Town Mall, which was a much more typical early 60's coffee shop, crammed into a typical early 60's suburban shopping mall. The Scottsdale Guggy's was relatively opulent, with tall ceilings, fashionable contemporary fixtures and a hushed atmosphere of comparatively fine dining more reflective of its northeast valley address.

All of this was lost on me. The only things I cared about was the location of the bathroom and the contents of the revolving dessert rack over by the waitresses station. My grandfather noted my wandering attention. He observed my nervousness as he and my mother put down their menus.  He saw my concern as I continued to fidget with my menu, which I couldn't read. He fixed me with a stern gaze and bent over me conspiratorially.

"You'll catch more flies with sugar water than you will with vinegar."

I sat up straight as my grandfather motioned for the server, and quietly folded my menu as he had. I held my breath as the adults recited their orders, hoping I'd be allowed to choose my own meal. The waitress finally turned in my direction. This was the moment of truth.

"...can I have a hamburger...?"

"Of course you can! Would you like french fries with that?"

"...uh...y-yes please...oh, and a Coke!"

"Will that be all?"

I was running out of tricks. There was silence for a couple of beats.

"...Thank you!" I blurted finally.

The rest of the meal passed uneventfully. As we drove home, my mom announced that I had done well, and that my grandfather had been very proud of me. She asked me if I understood what he meant about the flies. I said I did: he wanted me to be sure not to forget the Coke.

The Guggy's chain is gone now, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is nothing special, just another obstacle course that I'm occasionally forced to navagate if my wife wants "Hello Kitty" stuff. Most of the Phoenix restaurants represented in my grandparents' menu collection are long gone (Monti's continues to hang in there, however). I found a couple of trinkets on a site devoted to the concerns of the tiki community, and an excellent gallery of Phoenix memorabilia hidden among the pages of realtor Leif Swanson. But the links in the article aside, I've found little on the Web to corroborate my recollections. Hopefully these menus help redress the situation.