Game over: Owner says he is closing arcade bar in downtown Tempe
PHOENIX — The owner of an arcade-style bar in downtown Tempe said Monday he is pulling the plug on the business.
Owner Ryan Scott said Endgame, located near Seventh Street and Mill Avenue, will close its doors when its lease expires May 31.
In a Facebook post, Scott cited difficulties with his landlord — Arizona State University — as the primary reason for the bar’s closing after less than two years.
“Since the inception of our lease, ASU has imposed an endless nightmare of limitations on us that make it all but impossible to conduct business,” he wrote.
Scott claimed ASU did not allow Endgame to participate in any block parties on Mill Avenue, was not allowed to have alcohol or glass on patios and were not allowed to post banners or signs.
“While I understand why ASU insists on some of these restraints, they hurt us badly as a business, and despite finding success under them, it’s a serious damper to quality of service, and difficult to explain to frustrated customers,” he wrote.
“Since the very beginning, we’ve largely felt unwelcome by our ASU landlords and property management and frankly, I’m tired of fighting it.”
Scott said he made the decision to close after accepting an invitation to appear on the show “Bar Rescue” in mid-January. He said the show would most likely have replaced aging kitchen equipment and updated the venue, which he claims in disrepair.
However, Scott wrote ASU prohibited Endgame from appearing on the show as “they were worried that our being on the show would ‘reinforce their reputation as a party school.'”
Scott said ASU has made some changes after his Monday post, including allowing alcohol on the patio.
“I wish they would have done this a year and a half ago, but I am thankful they are at least trying to make amends now,” he wrote.
In a statement, the school said Scott is behind on rent and is working with him to get payments back on track.
ASU also said it hopes all of its tenants flourish and it wished Scott luck in the future.
Scott said he hopes to relaunch the bar somewhere in Tempe.