Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Out with the old and in with the new. Outgoing Arby’s manager Larry Best, center-left, assists new manager Abbie Aloisio with the ribbon cutting at the grand re-opening celebration of Arby’s on Wednesday. On hand for the event were Graham County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Pictured are, from left, Ed Lopez, Best, Tim Linden, Aloisio, Arby’s Area Supervisor Arlette Murray, Arby’s Director of Operations Chandler Moore, John Howard, Lee Patterson, and Vaughn Grant.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – The public’s desire for the tantalizing fresh market sandwiches, scrumptious roast beef creations, and utter delectable gyros prompted FX4 (Fantastic Food Fast and Friendly) to renovate the Arby’s restaurant at 1720 W. Thatcher Blvd. in a record-setting two weeks.
As previously reported by the Gila Herald (Arby’s undergoing complete remodel – Sept. 5, 2018), the building was the original Arby’s incantation from 1998. According to FX4 Vice President Jay Johnson, the Gilbert-based company purchased the property in 2008 to add to its stable of now 45 Arby’s restaurants – most of them in Arizona, with one in Silver City, N.M.
According to Johnson, the restaurant’s franchise rights are good for 20 years and to receive a new 20-year license the building had to be brought up to current specifications.
The location was closed Sept. 4 to begin the renovation and reopened Sept. 18 as previously chronicled in the Gila Herald (Arby’s completes renovation in record time; now open for business – Sept. 20, 2018).
Workers raced against the clock to update the exterior with fresh stucco, paint, a new sign and updated to-go order taking station. Inside, the restaurant’s lobby was opened up with a fresh new look that also has an “old school” feel complete with Edison-style light bulbs in modern fixtures.
“For a lot of it, it’s the same menu, same Arby’s food,” Johnson said. “If you are a regular Arby’s customer, you’ll just appreciate the new dining room. If you are a drive-through customer you’ll notice the drive-through experience is probably a little better because there is new communication technology that makes it easier to hear and understand.”