The brothers of the businessman who ran Cactus Moon in Tucson for 23 years are bringing their popular Denim & Diamonds country bar and pizza restaurant to the space.
But as a stipulation of their lease with landlords Larsen Baker, Philip and Herbert Graham agreed that their brother, Cactus Moon’s Gary Graham, would never be involved in the new venture, said leasing agent Melissa Lal.
“I have it written in red letters in the lease that (Gary Graham) will have zero, nada, nothing to do with it,” said George Larsen, whose firm owns the building at 5470 E. Broadway.
Gary Graham has no business relationship with his brothers’ Odessa, Texas-based Graham Brothers Entertainment, said the company’s president, Roger Gearhart. The company has operated country music-themed clubs and restaurants in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and the Phoenix area since the 1970s, including the behemoth Phoenix club Graham Central Station, which closed last November.
Gearhart said the company applied for its liquor license Thursday and hopes to open the Tucson Denim & Diamonds by Halloween.
“As soon as we get the green light on the liquor license we are ready to roll,” he said, adding that there is not much beyond cleaning that needs to be done before they can open.
Lal said the liquor license approval process could take up to 60 days. She and Larsen said they anticipated a smooth process based on positive meetings with neighbors and Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik.
Gearhart said Denim & Diamonds would be a pizza restaurant from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and convert to an adults-only country music nightclub at night.
This will be the Graham Brothers’ fourth Denim & Diamonds. The club has been in Mesa for three years and had a location in Phoenix for several years before that. There also are locations in Texas and Kansas.
Gary Graham ran the Cactus Moon in the 12,000-square-foot building for 23 years before Larsen booted him in July 2012. Larsen said Graham and his wife and business partner Virginia Graham fell six weeks behind in paying the $25,000 monthly rent.
Early last fall, the couple opened a Cactus Moon nightclub at the Promenade at Casa Grande off Interstate 10.
This is the second time Larsen Baker has leased the Cactus Moon space since Gary Graham left. Larsen had leased the space last January to Kirby Bond, who once ran Marana’s troubled New West and Gotham nightclub. Bond had hoped to operate a pizza restaurant and nightclub there but he pulled out of the deal after running into trouble with his liquor license application, Larsen said.
Larsen said he and the Graham brothers have been in negotiations for several months.