CHANDLER, AZ — Three things are evident walking through the doors of Good Time Charli's neighborhood craft pub in Chandler: Music, good food and a good time are all what's made the popular spot off Kyrene Road and Chandler Boulevard such a hit.
Owner Charli Hopewell says she opened up shop four years ago hoping to create a place that would showcase her love for music and hospitality.
"It’s almost like your identity in a way," said Hopewell. "My goal was just to touch people's lives and that and in turn, hopefully impact them to touch other people‘s lives.”
Since March, Hopewell, like most other restaurant owners, has had to adapt and make changes to survive.
She transformed the business model to take-out only for several months, then re-opened for dine-in, only to close again in the summer.
"Just opening, closing, opening, closing has been the toughest ride of my life. I’ve never encountered anything like this," she added. "Everybody wants it to be gone, everyone wants all of this to be done but we’re just not there yet and that’s the hardest part.”
Faced with mounting stress, she decided it was time to step away, but distanced herself from the idea of closing up shop.
“I love these people, I love my staff, I love my guests, the music community it’s just really dear to me," she said. "I’m so proud to be able to turn it over to somebody that wants to continue on the legacy and keep it going and keeping the live music fresh.”
Larry Delaney and his business partner Raymond Sanchez jumped at the opportunity to buy Good Time Charli's.
While some may fear the bar would lose its heart without Charli, two new owners promise to make sure it stays as-is.
“We decided to keep the name, and the theme and the music," said Delaney.
"We really had to rub our eyes to make sure that we were in reality," he said. "To see an establishment that has so much of someone’s soul in there and that has such a very loyal customer base we were like yes, this is the jackpot.”
The two also recently purchased Padre Murphy's in Glendale to kick start their joint venture business in the Valley.
Delaney says he and his partner plan to preserve the legacy and environment Charli's invested years into creating, and hopes customers know it'll be the same bar they've always known and loved.
"This industry is a lot more, as you said, than just business. It’s about having a place where people can really feel at home," added Delaney.
Hopewell says her last day at the bar will be December 14. Delaney and Sanchez set to step in the next day, but plan to work with Hopewell to keep the environment going under new ownership.