A family owned and operated business brings a little something special to the neighborhood. When the business in question is a restaurant, the opportunity for fostering a sense of community is even greater. The Miller family saw this opportunity in what was largely a business district of central Phoenix. They nestled Maizie’s Café & Bistro at the base of the Landmark Towers just south of Camelback, with the hope that their restaurant would bring something fresh to the area. They were blown away by the response. “People would come in, and they would hug us,” says owner Joel
Miller with a smile. After years of declining local business and an increase in big chain restaurants, Maizie’s Café seemed to have arrived at just the right moment. What had started as a wine and cheese shop began a rapid evolution to keep pace with customer demands. First, salads and appetizers were added to the menu, and then pizzas and burgers. When customers asked for more, the Millers responded, adding entrees, desserts, and even a full brunch menu.
Today, the menu is an eclectic blend of bistro classics and imaginative creations designed through a combination of customer requests, Chef Matt Hidgon’s ingenuity, and creative ideas from the Millers themselves.
The atmosphere at Maizie’s has always been hip and urban; with the presence of the new light rail system, just steps from the front doors, this vibe is only underscored. Most importantly, the sense of family has been something that has remained imperative to the daily operations of the café. Says Maizie, “I’ve been to restaurants where it’s so cool—you know, there’s mom, there’s dad. That’s neat. That’s fun to do.”
Fun might be the perfect word for describing the scene at Maizie’s. The café can undoubtedly be described as trendy, fresh, and modern, but it never seems to take itself too seriously, choosing instead to temper the mood with quirky food options or playful menu commentary (such as describing Happy Hour as “Attitude Adjustment). If the family influence isn’t evident enough from the décor or the food, one need only wait around a while: invariably, one of the Miller clan will make the rounds, generally to a chorus of greetings and jokes from the staff and customers alike. Always friendly, always enjoyable, Maizie’s has made itself a landmark of Central Avenue, and a cornerstone of local business for years to come.