Owners Don and Candy Ellis, New Hampshire natives who bought the iconic restaurant in 1981, announced it will close May 31.
The Landmark truly is a landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Located on the southwest corner of Extension and Main, about a half-mile west of downtown Mesa, the red building began life as a Mormon church in 1908.
The small complex — the original building was joined by a recreational hall in the 1920s and a smaller meeting hall in the ’30s — has gone through several incarnations.
In 1963, it housed Phoenix College’s first Mesa branch, which later became Mesa Community College.
Since 1972, though, it’s been a restaurant. It was called Roach’s Schoolhouse Restaurant when taken over by the Ellises, who gave it the most recent name.
For the past 30 years, the menu has featured old-fashioned American comfort foods, such as beef stroganoff, braised pot roast, and stuffed meatloaf.
Its signature menu item, though, has been its award-winning salad bar, a cornucopia of hot and cold salads, side dishes, soups, and pastries that takes up an entire room (partially shown above).
The Ellises have sold the complex to a Peoria company that will use it as a wedding venue.
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