APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - Since the early 60s, the famous Mining Camp Restaurant in Apache Junction has been a delicious escape from the city without having to go too far.
But that may have come to an end Tuesday morning after a fire. Superstition fire and medical said the restaurant is a "complete loss."
Firefighters worked to put out hotspots for hours, early Tuesday morning. But flames were too much for the landmark.
According to Superstition fire and medical, the owner, who opened the restaurant in 1961, and his wife were sleeping in a small house separate from the restaurant when the fire started. A neighbor called firefighters.
It's stunning location at the base of the Superstition Mountains gave visitors that old Wild Wild West, Arizona cowboy feel just a short drive from Phoenix.
Information about the restaurant on the Mining Camp website, explains that the exterior of the building is mostly built from ponderosa pine from Payson, Arizona. Newspaper clippings and dozens of historic items were hung on the walls inside the building.
Once inside and seated at the dinner table, plates remained packed with food until diners were full. Meal time represented the old-mining-camp style, dining on tin plates meals filled with all-you-can-eat BBQ ribs, cowboy baked beans, coleslaw, homemade bread and delicious prickly pear cactus jelly.
The investigation into the fire is ongoing. No word yet on what caused the blaze, but Superstition fire and medical say the restaurant was not open Monday and it does not appear to be weather related.