MartAnne’s Route 66 expansion a boost for business
By Daniel Daw
Flagstaff favorite, MartAnne’s Cafe, will be expanding with a new location and some new menu items — all the while maintaining the atmosphere patrons have come to love.
Anne Martinez, owner of MartAnne’s, explained the new location will be off of Route 66, where Verizon Wireless and Mama Burger used to be.
“It’s going to be around the corner,” said Martinez, “So your entrance is going to be on Route 66, where Verizon Wireless was. We’re [utilizing] the Mama Burger kitchen and opening up the wall and going that way. Your entrance will be on the street on Route 66.”
According to Martinez, the current location is too small for the amount of customers that dine at the restaurant.
“We need more room to better accommodate our customers, because people have to wait a long time,” said Martinez.
More additions will come with the change in location, including new menu items and a community table.
“Yes, [we are] excited. We’re adding to the menu, we’re keeping everything we have and it’s brand new, so yeah, we are happy,” Martinez said, “We are going to have a community table. It’s a huge table we want at least 10 to 12 people to share, and we’re thinking of having some way of making people talk to each other, but we haven’t figured that out.”
The atmosphere will be staying the same with long-time artist and restaurant collaborator, Emma Gardner, helping to decorate.
“The artist is coming with us [so] the atmosphere will stay the same; our lady who has done all of our stuff, Emma Gardner — who has been the artist in residence here for eleven years — is helping us decorate the new place too,” Martinez said, “It’s like moving from a small apartment to a new big house.”
Gardner is looking forward to working with the new location and decorating.
“I think it’s really exciting and it’s going to be really fun to kind of organize the new space and decorate it,” said Gardner, “I do help the restaurant as far as consulting . . . picking the colors, painting the walls, doing murals and [other] stuff like that. I’ve done murals for a while . . . Usually when you do a mural, it’s in a specific spot, so you’re helping them design somehow.”
Some patrons, like seven-year regular Emmett White — who has a dish named after him — will miss the current location. But White is also excited for the restaurant to expand.
“I’m going to miss this location, because it’s dark. It’s small [and] there’s not a lot of big families and crying babies,” White said, “I’m excited for them, though, because I know it’s going to be good for these folks, the people that run it. They’re excited about it and things need to evolve . . . I will probably still be a regular.”
The move is scheduled for in the first week in October.