Phoenix, AZ

Award Winning Restaurant Forced to Close For Low Income Housing

Greyson F

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A local restaurant has closed to make way for low income housing.Tim Mossholder/Unsplash

There is no shortage of reasons behind restaurant closures. The hospitality industry continually faces an uphill battle, more so now than almost ever before. However, few restaurants decide to close up shop not because of poor sales or staffing problems, but for the betterment of the community. 

Refuge Cafe was an award-winning restaurant located at 4727 North 7th Avenue in Phoenix. Operated by the Catholic Charities Community Service, the restaurant donated all of its profits to programs for foster children, refugees, veterans, and domestic violence survivors. Since its opening back in 2013, the restaurant had received award recognition from both local and national media outlets, including the Best Nonprofit Restaurant of 2016, a Top 20 Wine Bar in 2014 (The Arizona Republic), a top 50 Restaurant in 2019 (Yelp), and the Best Coffee Shop award in both 2019 and 2022 (East This, Not That!). 

Despite the success of the restaurant, the Catholic Charities Community Service decided the space could be better used as low incoming housing, and that providing individuals and families struggling to find affordable apartments in the area would prove beneficial for the entire community. Due to this decision, Refuge Cafe is now fully closed. However, fans of the restaurant can still enjoy their coffee by either stopping by the Sky Harbor Terminal 4 location, or they can order beans directly from the Refuge Cafe website. Profits will continue to go towards programs in the community.

The current phase of the new apartment community, which will be known as Acacia Heights, will have a total of 61 units. 57 of these units will be for households at 40 to 60 percent of the median income levels, The rest will be designated for households earning up to 100 percent of median income. The third phase of the apartment community will add another 68 units of one to three-bedroom apartments for households earning between 40 and 60 percent of median income. 

The new apartments will range in cost, starting at $600 for a single-bedroom apartment, and increasing up to $800-$1,200 for a three-bedroom apartment. 

There is not an exact date as to when the Phase Two portion of the new affordable housing apartment complex will be completed, although with the Refuge Cafe now closed, demolition can begin and construction can move forward. 

For anyone who is interested in the Acadia Heights apartment complex, or who wants to know more about Catholic Charities Community Service as well as their housing partner, Housing For Hope, make sure to visit their websites. 

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