For restaurants that have been around for decades, they become part of the fabric of a community. Families return and bring their children. Then, their children bring their own children to the restaurant. There is a familiarity to it. In many ways, the restaurant becomes a home away from home. However, even those restaurants that have been around for generations, there is always the lingering possibility of closure. That is exactly what is happening to a Tucson staple, and with its coming closure, it will leave a hole in the restaurant community here in the Old Pueblo.
Sullivan’s Eatery & Creamery opened back in 1977, although at the time it went by Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlor. Eventually, the restaurant, which specializes in everything from ice cream to burgers, changed its name as it dropped its affiliation with Swensen’s. In 2013, the current name of Sullivan’s Eatery & Creamery was adopted, although the interior and much of the menu remained the same.
All of the ice cream is made in-house for customers eager to beat the heat with a sweet treat. For visitors looking for lunch or dinner, the restaurant offered everything from a bacon cheeseburger and patty melt to a mushroom swiss burger, country chicken tenders, parmesan onion rings, plus several versions of French fries.
However, after 45 years of business, Sullivan’s Eatery & Creamer is reaching the end of its service time. Management recently announced that it would be closing its doors by the time its lease is up, if not sooner.
The restaurant, which is a vintage throw-back, which looks very much as it did when it opened in 1977 (the same year as the original Star Wars), has done what it could to continue offering customers quality diner food like burgers, malts, and the signature ice cream, without raising prices. But margins for such a restaurant are already razor-thin, so with the continued increased cost of food, the rising rental requirements, and the increase in wages, the ability to offer quality food at an affordable price quickly became impossible.
For anyone interested in taking in at least one last visit to the family-owned restaurant, it is recommended to do it sooner rather than later. It is located at 6444 North Oracle Road with hours of operation running from 12 until 8:30 PM on Sunday and Monday, 11:30 AM until 8:30 PM Tuesday through Thursday, and 11:30 AM until 9 PM on Friday and Saturday.