Buffalo Chip to reopen after Thanksgiving arson

Posted at 10:54 AM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-23 19:36:20-04
An iconic Valley restaurant is making a comeback.
The Buffalo Chip Saloon & Steakhouse is holding a ceremonial ground breaking on a new building Wednesday.
According to owner Larry Wendt, Cave Creek Town Council approved the permits for the new 4,700 square foot restaurant on Monday.  They purchased special antique lumber from California and are designing it to look and feel like the old saloon which was built in the 1950’s.  
But what's different about the new Buffalo Chip? A larger dance floor, more restrooms and updated infrastructure.
"We used to have to plunge toilets half night, the plumbing was overworked.  We were resetting breakers," Wendt said.
Arson is suspected, but there have been no arrests. Wendt said Maricopa County Sheriff's investigators have been looking at a transient female suspect since December. Wendt, a former MCSO deputy himself, said he expects movement in the case soon.
"They'll have to arrest her or close it within a year, he said. "That's just department policy."
Wendt said he was underinsured on the old building and most of the new restaurant will be paid for out of his own pocket.
"We were able to save a little money and the town is working with us on permit fees," he said.
The outdoor BBQ area reopened in January so the facility could proceed with bull riding, live entertainment, BBQ, and drinks.
It will be open weekdays 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday & Sunday and 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. throughout construction.
Construction is estimated to be completed by October.