The Fix, Arizona’s Mac n Chz Headquarters has closed after nearly seven years in business.
The restaurant, at 943 E. University Blvd. in Main Gate Square, shut its doors permanently on Monday.
The Fix was known for its mac and cheese concoctions — pizza, surf and turf, jalapeño popper, Hawaiian barbecue, enchilada and loaded baked potato, to name a few.
Owners Mike and Sandy Lanz cited several reasons for the closure, including construction of a hotel near the restaurant, the increase in minimum wage and retirement. The Lanzes took over the business in 2013.
At one point, the Lanzes looked into expanding The Fix with a second location on the north or east side of town. But then minimum wage went up and the couple put their expansion efforts on hold.
“The increase in minimum wage made it prohibitive from a profitability standpoint,” Mike Lanz said. “That led to a higher turnover and created a bunch of problems. At the end of the day, we were not able to take out of the business what it’s worth to keep operating.”
The Lanzes said the construction of a nearby boutique hotel and apartment complex on land owned by the Marshall Foundation was the final straw.
“The construction — that was a nail in the coffin,” Mike Lanz said. “That’s when we told (the Marshall Foundation) that we were struggling.”
Mike Lanz said The Fix saw an instant decline in business when construction started last year. He said when the hotel and apartments are complete, the location will be great — but they couldn’t wait that long.
“I understand what they’re going through. But (the hotel and apartments) are something that are going to complete the area,” Jane McCollum, general manager of the Marshall Foundation, said, adding that she’ll miss The Fix.
The Lanzes searched for other locations, including the location that once housed Red’s Smokehouse and Tap Room, also on University Boulevard. But, ultimately, lease terms with the Marshall Foundation for the Red’s location didn’t work out, Mike Lanz said.
And although the Lanzes don’t plan to return to the restaurant business, Mike Lanz said he’s open to selling the brand.
“We established a business — we built a successful brand and it would’ve been nice to see that brand continue,” he said.
“We really did want to see the legacy of The Fix remain in Tucson.”
Mike Lanz said he’ll miss the customers and employees the most.
“We got to meet so many different people from so many different walks of life,” he said, adding that the couple developed strong bonds with their employees.
Now beginning their retirement, the Lanzes hope to travel and spend time with relatives. Mike Lanz, who is in a band, also plans to play guitar full time.