Students may have to get through their Saturday nights a little hungrier as the IHOP on Apache Boulevard is closing effective June 1.
Tracy Lujan, the regional director of IHOP franchisee Romulus Restaurants, said the store’s lease expired.
“Our lease is up,” he said. “We’ve actually been in this building for almost 22 years.”
This comes on the heels of the Twin Palms hotel next door being sold to Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners for $5.88 million, according to records.
This group, according to its website, seeks hotels in metropolitan areas and resorts in an effort to operate and develop the buildings. The company, founded in Chicago, also has resorts in places including Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and Anguilla in the Caribbean.
The seven-story Twin Palms hotel consisted of about 140 rooms. Downtown Phoenix community coordinator Irma Canseco said the hotel housed ASU students “almost every year” in August for approximately two weeks while dormitories were overbooked.
AJ Capital Partners has already begun the process of renovating it. It is expected to cost several million dollars, and current plans state it will re-open under a new name in October.
A new restaurant will take the place of the IHOP residing next to the hotel, but its identity has not yet been made public.
“It was just one of those business things,” Lujan said. “(Twin Palms) want(s) to move in a different direction, and our lease was up.”
Romulus Restaurants plans on opening a new IHOP around campus.
“We’re trying to find a place around Tempe and ASU,” Lujan said. “Right now we have some eyes on a couple of things, and we’ve talked to some people, but nothing is set in stone yet.”
He emphasized that the relationship between IHOP and ASU is mutually beneficial.
“ASU’s been a huge part of IHOP and its success, and we definitely want to find something in the area so we can continue to associate with the students,” Lujan said.
A great portion of IHOP’s profits come from hungry students. These customers not only get food, but many were employed at the location.
“It’s good that we do employ students because when business slows down, they may go back home,” Lujan said. “We do a good job of keeping their positions open because when they come back and business picks up, of course we need them.”
The restaurant was one of 182 off-campus opportunities, according to the ASU website. If the IHOP can remain in shouting distance of the Tempe campus, students can keep working at this 2 a.m. favorite.
The news has been tough on ASU students, and many have taken to social media to share memories in the restaurant.
It is not only students; people throughout the Valley will miss the pancake store.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College anatomy professor Emel Topal said the restaurant’s location was convenient.
“I didn’t go there so often, but it was nice … to have it there,” she said.
Along with its location, IHOP’s hours of operation factored into its success, said ASU alumnus Chris Mullen.
“I had eaten there, went there a lot when I was studying (and) pulling all-nighters,” he said.
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