Macayo's moving, iconic building could be razed

Posted at 7:06 PM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 16:44:42-04
Macayo's Mexican Kitchen on Central Avenue near Indian School Road is moving operations, and if a developer gets his way -- the distinct-looking building is coming down.
Macayo's spokesperson Ashley Negron said Thursday the eatery is moving across the street to the south side of Indianola Avenue in the next year.  
"It's definitely a bittersweet moment to think that this location will not be here," said Negron.  "But knowing we're going back to one of the original looks and feels of it and taking some of those iconic elements over there is comforting."
Negron said the original look when the building was erected 64 years ago is quite different than the 22,000 square foot structure looks now. The owners will renovate what is currently a garage, then move all operations into it, which Negron said is only about 5,000 square feet.  
It won't be able to accommodate large functions like the current space, but it will include a patio that can be rented, which is something the old building does not have.  The Johnson family, which owns Macayo's, already owns the garage and the property around it.  
"Our biggest goal is to make sure there's no point where this restaurant is closed before that one opens," Negron said.
Plans are posted on the city's website seeking to rezone the area and raze the Aztec-style structure and replace it with an apartment complex.  Signs on the property advertise a rezoning meeting scheduled for June 2.  
Macayo's had considered renovating the current site, but found the time the business would have to be closed wasn't worth it.  Plus, Negron said, they believe the proposal to build the apartments coupled with their ideas to re-purpose the garage, will bring a new energy to that section of the city.
"We're excited. It's a chance to reinvigorate this area of Phoenix," she said.  "We would love to be here (in the current location) but to remodel it would be quite a bit of time, so the decision was made to move across the street."
This Central Phoenix location is Macayo's flagship restaurant.  There are 14 Macayo's in Arizona and Nevada.