Following a dozen-year run, Zivaz Mexican Bistro on East Broadway has closed its doors for good.
The restaurant, recognized by fans in the Arizona Daily Star’s Burger and Burrito Madness competitions, proudly advertised the burger accolade on the side of the building at 4590 E. Broadway for years after the 2013 contest.
The banner was still there on Wednesday when owners Cecilia and Felipe Valenzuela taped a simple note to their front door announcing the closure.
“This summer has been slow. June was not too bad, but July has been very, very slow,” Cecilia Valenzuela said Wednesday afternoon.
The summer slowdown combined with an increase in the state’s minimum wage took a financial toll on the family’s restaurant, she said. Over the last couple of weeks, the pair decided it was time to bow out gracefully “instead of just waiting and seeing what happens,” she said.
“We are sad. We loved Zivaz. We spent most of the time in the restaurant,” Cecilia Valenzuela said. “It’s very sad for us.”
On the west end of Broadway downtown, meanwhile, the employees at Even Stevens Sandwiches at 178 E. Broadway were touting the Utah-based chain’s environmentally friendly carry-out containers on Facebook Wednesday morning.
Hours later, they posted a notice that they were closed “for training” for the next few days.
A company official in Phoenix, where there are several Even Stevens outposts, confirmed the restaurant was actually locked out by its landlord after not paying rent.
The official, who wouldn’t give his name, called the episode embarrassing and said the company hoped to reopen the shop in the next couple of days.
Even Stevens is expected to open its second Tucson shop in a new strip plaza next door to Sam Fox’s sprawling Yard project on East Grant Road. No opening date has been announced.