Legendary Phoenix Music Venue Mr. Lucky’s Is Up for Sale Again

^

Keep New Times Free

I Support

  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Mr. Lucky’s, the former Grand Avenue nightclub, venue, and country music joint is currently up for sale, according to the real estate website LoopNet.

The 20,865-square-foot property at Grand near 37th Avenue was listed on the site in late December. No asking price is noted, but the land is valued at $489,700.

Mr. Lucky’s hasn’t operated as a nightclub or events venue since the late 2000s. It’s hosted a few different businesses over the last decade or so, including a furniture store and restaurant, but has largely remained vacant. Per Maricopa County records, California businessman Minassian Vahak has owned the property since 2005.

One of Mr. Lucky’s most well-known aspects is its towering neon sign, which depicts a jester-like harlequin and is adorned with a large marquee that used to advertise the various performers that would gig at the club.

Designed by the late Glen Guyette, an artist who created signs for several other defunct local businesses like Bill Johnson’s Big Apple and My Florist Cafe, it’s a unique throwback to another era in Phoenix history. 
Both Mr. Lucky’s and that sign have seen better days. (LoopNet estimates that improvements to the property are in excess of $500,000.)

“I noticed recently someone has taken the large dice that were hanging off the sign, and its marquee and paint are a mess,” says local historian Marshall Shore, who also heads up the Arizona Vintage Sign Coalition. “So little by little, it’s been cannibalized and gotten worse and worse. It’s a real shame since the sign is a Valley treasure and the club has such a history and legacy.”

[embedded content]

Mr. Lucky’s was opened by local restaurateur Bob Sikora in the mid-1960s. Originally designed as a casino (back when Arizona was flirting with the idea of legalizing gambling), it became a nightclub that hosted performances in its ground-level main room and enormous basement space.

Over the next four decades, Mr. Lucky’s drew a country crowd. Waylon Jennings rose to fame at the venue, and superstars like Glen Campbell, Wanda Jackson, Charley Pride, and Marty Robbins gigged there on the regular. (Jackson’s 1969 album In Person Live At Mr. Lucky’s In Phoenix Arizona was recorded at the club and includes a photo of her in front of its sign.)

In 2015, the property transformed its main room into a furniture store and briefly became a restaurant called Mr. Lucky’s Grubhouse a couple of years later. Both businesses eventually went under, and the building has been vacant ever since. The property has also been up for sale several times in recent years, but no one has purchased it.

Shore says that while opening a business on the property might not be cost-effective, given the estimated expenses involved with repair and renovation, he thinks the sign could be salvaged and possibly moved to another Valley location.

“It’s just too big of a piece of local history to have it go to waste,” he says. “It would be amazing if someone could come up with the money to save it.”

Keep Phoenix New Times Free… Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who’ve won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism’s existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our “I Support” membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.