Rare memorabilia from an iconic Tempe restaurant and popular ASU hangout will hit the auction block on Saturday, Sept. 30 as new owners prepare to introduce a new, rebranded restaurant in its place this fall.
More than 500 kitschy, quirky and colossal pieces from Minder Binders’ walls, ceilings, doors, and other nooks and crannies have been removed from the historic landmark and will be auctioned at EJ’s Auction & Consignment, 5880 W. Bell Road, in Glendale on the northeast corner of 59th Avenue and Bell Road. A free public preview takes place Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Sept. 27, 28 & 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Collectors also can preview items and bid online. EJ’s will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 with the auction starting at 10 a.m.
“Whether you lived it, or you just heard about the lore of Minder Binders, this is an incredible chance to own a piece of history,” said Erik Hoyer, owner and auctioneer of EJ’s Auction & Consignment. “It’s an eclectic collection of vintage signs, gas pumps, wagons, farm equipment and implements, a telephone booth and other oddities. Some of the crazier pieces suspended from the ceiling included a 30-foot antique umiak whaling boat, a 14-foot muffler man, intricate movie prop ships, a large movie prop sculpture of a Roman gladiator, large sleighs and other funky pieces.”
Longtime Valley residents may recall when the barn-like Minder Binders was built in the early 1970s on the northeast corner of McClintock and University in Tempe. The two-story restaurant and bar served good food, cheap drinks and even had a volleyball court outside. At night, it was loud and raucous, and during the day, families would enjoy the food and colorful ambiance.
“I’m sure we’ll have a lot of nostalgic bidders who will want to own a piece of their youth and history,” Hoyer said, adding that he also has fun memories of hanging out there some 30 years ago.
Mike Kenney bought the building and property earlier this summer. A newcomer to Tempe, he recently served as co-owner of his family’s successful Seattle restaurant, Art Mable 21.
Kenney said he and his staff have been working around the clock to unveil their new restaurant concept, The Social Hall, this fall. The rebranded restaurant will serve American cuisine with a Latin flare.
“Like Minder Binders, we hope to attract a new generation of patrons who appreciate delicious food, an impressive beer and wine list, and a fun, welcoming atmosphere,” Kenney said, adding that The Social Hall will feature bar games, pool tables, shuffle board and several large-screen TVs.
Kenney said he understands how much Minder Binders was loved, and to embrace his new community, he will donate a portion of auction proceeds to a local Tempe charity and hurricane relief efforts.
“We are excited to be a part of Tempe’s thriving community, and we’ll be announcing more details about our grand-opening soon,” he said.
EJ’s conducts three live auctions in its Glendale location beginning at 10 a.m. every Saturday. The public can bid live, online or via phone. A free public preview begins on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In an effort to help recent hurricane victims, EJ’s has registered with St. Mary’s Food Bank to be a collection venue for non-perishable food and personal hygiene items through Sunday, Oct. 1.
“In addition to helping local families, St. Mary’s Food Bank is helping hurricane victims, and this will help re-stock their shelves,” Hoyer said. “EJ’s patrons who bring in 10 non-perishable food or personal hygiene products between now and October 1 will receive $5 in EJ’s bucks added to their bidder account.”