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Thread: Arny's

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Arny's

    I was told that Arny's is closing down for good in the near future. Bummer.

  2. #2
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    This is the last weekend for Arny's. I would be there if I could get out of my stuff this weekend.
    It's sad to think that I'll never have another shot at being able to eat an entire Arny's Combo.
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  3. #3
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    This history is incorrect BTW, ZagNative, Gamagin, or JHoop could shed more light, but it didn't even exist in 1949, and I'm pretty sure the Martire's were still in Italy
    Birddog

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birddog View Post


    This history is incorrect BTW, ZagNative, Gamagin, or JHoop could shed more light, but it didn't even exist in 1949, and I'm pretty sure the Martire's were still in Italy
    Birddog
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  5. #5
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    Does anyone know why? Real estate deal (I can imagine Starbucks would be chomping at the bit for more parking or a drive thru)? Or is the restaurant not doing well? I tell ya, we were there about 3 months ago and had less than impressive food and service.
    Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza. -- Dave Barry
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  6. #6
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    RIP Arny's

    Many memories, Loved the Linebacker, I just did a moment of silence.

  7. #7
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    didn't a former owner open another place in town? maybe the food there is similar...
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  8. #8
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    Arny's will forever be the spot where my buddy told me a story so funny that I snorted a malted milkshake out of my nose.

    RIP Arny's.

  9. #9
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    Oh wow....the Double Whammy. I used to love those, ate 'em all the time.

    That reminds me, I have an angiogram scheduled for next Friday. Eh, it was worth it.

  10. #10
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    Bummer. A tasty grouping of eateries around there. David's, Pete's, Pita Pit, Jack & Dan's, good stuff. Arny's will be missed.
    The Kennel: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."

  11. #11
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    My first memories of the place would be in the late '50's, when it was (Mike's) Dairy Freeze. I would die for a Stroboli back in those days, although the $.19 Zips burger was more in line with the budgets of me and my Holy Names buddies. I still can literally taste those old-time Strombolis. Last time I had one, it didn't seem anywhere near as good. (But, then, I can remember how much better the tomatoes my mom used to buy by the flat from farmers markets on East Sprague used to taste in those days too.)

    JIHoops and Gamagin might know more about the history, living closer to the place than I did.

    I still had burgers for lunch often at Arny's when I worked on West Cataldo four or five years ago.

    Gosh, where do we go now for an Arny-style burger? I'm hungry for one this minute! Ain't going out in the snow and cold, though.

  12. #12
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    Bummer. The chocolate shake and french toast combo was the perfect hangover cure :)

  13. #13
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    Default I was setting fires in another county when

    ZN summoned me to this thread.

    there are a lot of questions about Arny's on this thread. I think I have a few answers.

    The Dairy Freeze, now Arny's, was built about 1950 by Frankie Almond (sp?). He lived next door, where the pita pit is now.

    Almond ran the Dairy Freeze for 2-3 years and then sold to Mike Aquino, about 1952.

    Mike nurtured, built up and ran the Dairy Freeze until about 1958-1959. Aquino moved out to east trent where he bought the Burger Royale, about 2 blocks east of the now gone restaurant, Town and country. The aquino family may still own the Burger Royale. I don't know. Mike, jr., who was the owner-operator, died a couple of years ago and I lost track.

    Mike Aquino is the man who invented the famous Stromboli (ham, good, fresh, Italian, provolone cheese and a generous splash of "secret" Italian sauce w/hamburger bits & onions in it ladeled into a half a loaf of french bread right over the meat and cheese. The wax paper holding this hot, heavy piece of heaven could barely contain the ooze bubbling out all over. A toothpick kept the concoction from exploding out of the paper.

    A stromboli would produce an oily, hot skid mark on your clothing with each bite. It pretty much caused the same thing to happen again, on the way out.

    It woud turn your breath into the odor of baby spit up (I mean, hot provolone) and could ruin a perfectly good date in the process.

    You had to be going steady to eat one on a real date. And you both had to eat one, or share one, or else the powerful, addictive "magic" of the stromboli would leave the non participating person sniffing around as if someone had had a serious accident. Or problem.

    In other words, the experience, taste and after taste, was fabulous. As long as you were the person eating one.

    If you happened to be sporting a six pack inside your stomach after a night of being cool, well, the stromboli really found a home down there amongst the hops. It settled the savage beast. Most of the time.

    Mike Aquino also created and named the double whammy. Double burger, double cheese,bacon, on half a french loaf, and due to popular demand, for a small bit more of spare change, you could get it smothered in stromboli sauce, too.

    BLISS ! !

    I understand Dick's drive inn, Spokane, still pays the Aquino family a small amount each year for the right to sell its version of the double whammy.

    Mike sold the Freeze to Ray Martire, a young man whom Aquino had sponsored as an immigrant from Italy, about 1958. Ray and Dora ran the Freeze until about 1985, had a huge following and served at least two generations of St. Al's, GU and GPrep students, second generation devotees, the same as Mike had done.

    Ray turned the Freeze over to his son, Frankie for a year or so, before it was sold to Pat Jeppeson and partners about 1989.

    A few older brothers of mine worked for the original owner, Frank Almond, two others worked for Mike and I worked for Mike and a little bit with Ray. I cleaned, mopped up, took out the garbage & chopped onions for food and a little money under the table.

    Jeppeson (who did about a dozen similar projects around Spokane) kept the Dairy Freeze footprint, but remodeled the store completely, then reopend as Arny's.

    He also secured the rights to sell the whammy and the Stromboli (i don't think either ever measured up to the real deal; also the real deal was available at aquino's burger royal, so anyone could compare). Jeppeson & Co., ran Arny's as a three-meal-a-day joint for several years before it became a breakfast and lunch only diner. Somewhere in there Jeppeson sold.

    The current owner, the one closing, is a couple who decided to get out at least a year ago when (I think) the husband got a job out of state. It has been for sale at least a year. Several deals to sell it fell through. The wife stayed back and was running the diner.

    I don't know how many owners have been at Arny's, but I would guess at least three.

    So what happens next ? I don't know but I can find out quickly.

    The property is owned by John Stockton, who bought it from the Martires or Jeppeson. JS also owns the property from Arny's to Boone, including starbucks, davids and what was the clinic (Pia pit).

    Now that you know that, the options are either JS will scrape (which would mean he bought out the owner's business and needs more parking), or the business was sold to a new operator who will try and make a go of it w/JS as the landlord.

    That said, Jack and Dan's now serves a full menu of food, the pita pit is behind Arny's, Starbucks and a bagle shop are across the parking lot they all share, Pete's Pizza is across the street, so is the bulldog, which serves a good burger, and a Thai restaurant is south of Jack and Dan's.

    In sum, there is alot of competition in a small space. More is on the way as GU plans to build a 600 space carpark across the street (southwest corner boone and hamilton--the whole block) from David's. When finished, there will be commercial retail bays all along the Hamilton side with, presumably, plenty of parking for customers.

    But even with all the competition, none of those places, so far, serves breakfast. So there may yet be an unfilled niche in Arny's for another generation, or more, of neighborhood afficianados.

    We'll see. And I'll know soon & report back.

    Questions ?

    best regards,
    Last edited by gamagin; 01-25-2008 at 06:35 PM. Reason: typos etc

  14. #14
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    All I know is that I'm going to miss being harassed for being "out of sorts" when I go in on weekend mornings during my short visits to Spokane. A couple years ago I was in town for a long weekend visiting friends and was getting the usual treatment from Jo when the other waitress piped up and tore into me, too. My bleary eyed response?
    "I know we just met, but it feels like you've been hating me for years."

    Oh, and my senior year, one of my friends would get his hands on some of the of the steak and ingredients that Arny's used in their Philly Cheesesteaks. We ate like kings! Oh wow! Now my mouth is watering...

    I'm really gonna miss that place. Not too many places like it in the world these days, food, service, and other.
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  15. #15
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    Default From the 60's

    "Meet me at the Freeze" could have been fightin' words or just an invite to have a burger and coke. I believe also that Mike Acquino was the one who introduced grilled offerings at the Freeze, prior to that it was strictly a soft ice cream, shake, etc operation. Diversification was key to success. Locals could always go through the back door and sit around on the freezers BSing over their Cherry Cokes, occasionally helping out when needed. Gamagin is right about the Stromboli smell. The back room always smelled like spoiled milk and stinking cheese with a whiff of special sauce thrown in.

    OK old timers, remember Mikes old yellow Model T or was it a Model A Ford with the Dairy Freeze logo and info painted on the sides? I think he may used it at Burger Royal too.

    Birddog

  16. #16
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    Gamagin, Wow! That right there is a masterpiece. Shouldn't this thread go in the Blue & White? And shouldn't GUBoards and/or the Gonzaga community hire a keeper for Gamagin so he doesn't step off a curb in front of a beer truck someday and take all that great St. Al's/Gonzaga neighborhood history with him?

    Thanks so much for a superb offering, Gamagin, and to all of the rest of the posters on this thread who gave so much of the flavor of the place to the rest of us.

  17. #17
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    Default a sad day

    How sad to hear Stomboli's.... errr.....Arny's is closing.

    Back in my day ('67-'71), it went by the name of Stromboli's. But the bond is stronger than just my GU years. I went to school with Mike Aquino's niece as a classmate in grade school at St. Pascal and in high school at West Valley in the Spokane Valley. (Louise. At least my old memory recalls her as Mike's niece and not his daughter, but I could be mistaken at my age.)

    During high school, the Burger Royale was the place to go for great burgers and fried chicken.

    So many GU memories of going to Stromboli's at 11:00 pm on a school night after 4 hours in the Crosby Library (yeah, yeah yeah. I needed to. I was in the School of Engineering). Nothing like ordering a Double Whammy to go, taking it back to Dooley to team up with a couple cold brews from the dorm room frig (which was an old Coke vending machine my roommate and I picked up in salvage).

    Joey's is now Jack & Dan's. The Bubble Inn is gone. You can't get a Polish Sausage with hot mustard at the Bulldog anymore. Arny's (Stromboli's) is no more. What is the world coming to?

    At least there is one constant. Zag BBall lives on from the Big Sky into the WCC!

  18. #18
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    We used to go once a week for a late breakfast. Ultimate hangover killer.

    I still remember the time with a couple of buddies of mine when at 3am after an especially excessive night of drinking we decided we wanted to go to Arny's. We waited the 3 hours, helping each other fight to urge to pass out, and showed up at 6am for breakfast. Jo gave us so much crap for it, but it was totally worth it.

    Anyone know whats going to happen with the diner/property?
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  19. #19
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    Back in my day ('67-'71), it went by the name of Stromboli's.
    You're right in a sense, it was only students at GU that called the place Stroms (the more frequently used name in my memory). This came about because somebody started the story that the owners were named Stromboli when in fact it was still owned by Ray and Dora Martire. See Gamagins ownership timeline. As a Freshman I got in a heated argument with a Sophomore about this and despite my explaining that I grew up a long city block from the store and practically kitty corner from the Martires the sophomore didn't believe me. I think that this "urban legend" of sorts may have come about because another popular spot, Domini's Tavern downtown served sandwiches which were quite popular. At least once a week someone would make a "Dom's run" from our dorm for some sandwiches. If I remember correctly, you had to charge 9 people a buck and that would get the person making the run theirs for free. The owners of Domini's were indeed named Domini. Many other establishments copied the Domini's type of sandwich. Joey's was not one of them. Instead IIRC, they had an intercom to Strom's, (The Freeze etc) across the street. They'd make your order for a "Dubbla Wham" and then Ray would call back when the order was ready. You just slipped off your stool for a moment and walked across the street and back hardly missing a beat.

    Birddog
    Last edited by Birddog; 01-28-2008 at 08:11 PM.

  20. #20
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    When I returned to Spokane after many years in foreign parts (California, for one), I could hardly wait to go to Arny's for a Stromboli. What a disappointment! It wasn't the same. The tang was missing from the sauce, and the "French bread" --or whatever that stuff was--didn't taste the same. It wasn't as chewy.

    I guess Thomas Wolfe was right when he said that you can't go home again.

  21. #21
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    What a bummer! 229Sinto will be very disappointed. An Arny's breakfast the following morning after a late night at Jack & Dan's was a must.

    And Uber agrees this thread should be in Mae's Blue & White Cafe forum.
    If you can't handle the confusion, stay out of the Foo!

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  22. #22

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    The sign on Arny's says it will open in Spring when she gets back from vacation....hope this is true.

  23. #23
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    Default Here's the Arny's deal so far

    From my source, a good one.

    The lady who owns Arny's, the business (name, recipes, rest. equipment and lease) but not the property, has closed the doors.

    The restaurant is for sale, the property (building and land) is not.

    Should you or I buy it (it started out for sale at $150k many months ago but got no takers, so presumably it would be much less), one of us could reopen as Arny's, or change it like it was changed from the Dairy Freeze to Arny's.

    So the fate of this building as Arny's will be completely up to whoever steps up and buys the business.

    That's as far as this deal has gone to date. It's wide open.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamagin View Post
    From my source, a good one.

    The lady who owns Arny's, the business (name, recipes, rest. equipment and lease) but not the property, has closed the doors.

    The restaurant is for sale, the property (building and land) is not.

    Should you or I buy it (it started out for sale at $150k many months ago but got no takers, so presumably it would be much less), one of us could reopen as Arny's, or change it like it was changed from the Dairy Freeze to Arny's.

    So the fate of this building as Arny's will be completely up to whoever steps up and buys the business.

    That's as far as this deal has gone to date. It's wide open.
    I will move to Spokane and operate it. I am dead serious if anyone wants to invest. I'm pretty cheap, too.
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  25. #25
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    Smile GU owns the property/ Nostalgia from Ray

    Ray Martire,80, who ran the Dairy Freeze, says GU owns the land and building. He suspects in the long run they probably will raze the place since the other GU properties on that corner are already short on parking. GU would never let him expand, so one night a drunk crashed his car into the back wall, and he added on a couple of feet when they fixed the wall.

    He says he enjoyed great years running the Freeze and entertained a couple of generations of GU and G-Prep kids with his stories. He says it was actually a stage for him and selling the food was a sidelight.

    One of his favorite stoies comes from the days when Catholics could not eat meat on any Friday, which was bad for his Friday night business. He just would set his clock 30 minutes fast to get the kids in for a midnight burger to break their fast.

    He also tells some great stories where he would break up fights by the Prep kids in the lot by inviting them them in for a free burger and Coke.

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