By Meghann Sepulveda, Special for wranglernews.com
For 34 years, Bob and Robin Trick have spent nearly every day at the award-winning House of Tricks, their beloved downtown restaurant, a favorite among South Tempe diners.
The couple, who met almost 50 years ago when she managed the Bandersnatch Pub in Tempe and he was a chef there, say that while it’s bittersweet to bid farewell to their dedicated employees and loyal customers, they’re looking forward to their next chapter: Retirement.
Bob and Robin have been discussing retirement for a few years but felt that the time finally was right.
“It was the most difficult decision of my life,” she said.
Although they are sad about the end of this era, they are excited to relax, unwind and pursue their passions. Bob is looking forward to fly fishing at the couple’s Payson home. Robin will focus on her art.
While the sale of the restaurant closed on Dec. 15, the Tricks are leasing the building back from the buyers for six months and will permanently close it in June.
“We really wanted to give our employees and the community a little more time to enjoy the restaurant, especially during the busy upcoming spring season,” Robin said.
It will be the second recent closure of an iconic downtown Tempe restaurant. On May 23, 2021, Rula Bula on Mill Avenue gave last call when the restaurant/bar owners and the building owner could not come to terms on a new lease.
More than a restaurant
The charming House of Tricks is nestled in the heart of downtown Tempe at 114 E. 7th St., just off Mill Avenue.
But you might forget the hustle and bustle just a couple of blocks away when you’re surrounded by a garden of beautiful flowers and lush greenery on the quaint patio and dining on award-winning cuisine served by the warm, welcoming staff, and enjoying a selection from its 300-bottle wine menu.
“It truly is an experience,” Robin said.
If you haven’t dined at House of Tricks, now’s the time.
“We’re happy that people will have the opportunity to come together and celebrate,” Robin said.
Guests remember much more than the food and drinks.
Whether it was grandma’s 80th birthday dinner, a friend’s baby shower, or an ASU graduation party, House of Tricks proudly has hosted them all, as well as many other landmark occasions.
It’s often not easy to get a table.
Generating an enthusiastic following, it has been the site of memorable family and professional events, including marriage proposals, weddings, business meetings and fundraisers. The casual-yet-professional setting has been a favorite of guests Valley-wide, including neighbors from the South Tempe community, ASU faculty and staff, local and national politicians, businesspeople, spring-training fans and gourmet enthusiasts.
Over the next few months, customers can expect the same delicious cuisine that has made House of Tricks so special. Its chef of nearly two decades, Scott Umscheid, will continue to use fresh, seasonal ingredients to blend cultures and flavors and create contemporary American dishes, such as maple-peach glazed duck breast, winter vegetable risotto and coffee-rubbed seared ahi tuna.
The restaurant is open for happy hour and dinner and closed on Sundays. Reservations will continue to be accepted for small, private gatherings. Several special farewell events also will be planned.
The purchaser, 101 East 6th Street LP, has not announced its plans for the site, but the Tricks are supportive of the staff and hopeful that the House of Tricks brand can continue in the future.
More information: houseoftricks.com.