Thursday nights at Marana's Steak Out restaurant hopped.
It was $3 burger night - steaks for six bucks - and a band usually played. From 4 to 7 p.m., diners would could come and go, filling every high-top table and stool at the bar and spilling out onto the patio.
But beyond the bar, the 7,000-square-foot restaurant was often a barren space on Thursdays and other weeknights.
"The weekends were great, but to be honest ... we weren't able to make the Sunday through Thursday revenue we needed to stay open," said General Manager Michael Wystrach, who closed Steak Out at the end of business Sunday. "We built for the expectations, and they never materialized."
The modestly priced steakhouse at 3620 W. Tangerine Road had banked on residential and retail growth in Marana's Dove Mountain area to continue. Instead, growth in the area slowed, he said, and very few new businesses came into the adjacent shopping plaza, anchored by Fry's.
Wystrach said he ran different scenarios to try to save the restaurant but came up empty. The family decided last weekend to close on Sunday, and he notified the restaurant's 25 employees - most of them part-timers - on Monday morning.
"This is really sudden for all of us," he said Tuesday. "We weren't planning to shut. It just kind of came to a boiling point."
The four-year-old Marana restaurant was a sibling to the Sonoita Steak Out, which has been around more than 30 years. Wystrach, whose family owns both restaurants, said he had hoped to be around just as long in Marana.
"We really loved the area, and we loved the locals. We are definitely super-bummed to be ending this," he said. "We had plans to be there a a long, long time."
The Wystrach family broke ground on the multimillion-dollar restaurant in summer 2008. It opened in February 2009, just in time for that year's Accenture Match Play golf tournament at the Ritz Carlton.
Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4642.