Monti's La Casa Vieja Closing Its Doors

Published: Monday, November 17, 2014 - 7:30am
(Mark Brodie - KJZZ News)
Michael Monti

A Tempe culinary institution is closing its doors and its kitchen for good Monday.

Monti’s La Casa Vieja will serve its last meals Monday. It’s been a fixture on the corner of Mill and Rio Salado Parkway in downtown Tempe.

But owner Michael Monti says his nostalgia can’t sustain what he calls an obsolete business model. He says Monti’s is caught between self-service casual restaurants and high end steakhouses. He also says his neighborhood has changed a lot over the years.

"What people who find themselves in downtown Tempe want now is kind of a different feel and a different flavor than what we offer," Monti said. "We’re almost more of a suburban restaurant and yet the suburbanites don’t want to drive to downtown Tempe anymore."

Monti said he considered operating some version of the restaurant as a leased tenant in part of the historic building, but decided it would be too risky. He said the decision to close was a painful one.

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