Tempe's Cadillac Ranch to close, reopen with new concept

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It’s been nearly one year since 19-year-old Jack Culolias disappeared and died after being escorted out of a fraternity event at Cadillac Ranch.  Surveillance video captured the ASU student ordering drinks from the bar. 

Although Culolias had a fake I.D., investigators from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control determined the bar was not properly using their I.D. log on that particular night.

The investigation resulted in thousands of dollars worth of violations for the restaurant.  Managing partner Chris Osborn declined to comment on the case, saying “There are legal proceedings. 

"We’re really trying to help the family out and not breach confidentiality," said Osborn.

However, Osborn announced Wednesday that Cadillac Ranch will close after Saturday and reopen with a completely new concept in December.

“We’re going 180 degrees from direction we were going before,” Osborn told 3TV.

Osborn said he wants to cater to a different demographic of young professionals, moving away from wild parties and nightlife.

“More college traffic is centered on Mill area. That’s their burden to bear right now,” Osborn said.

It’s not an easy burden for Tempe restaurants with the prevalence of fake I.D.s. 

Osborn said following the Culolias case, he started using a better I.D. scanning system with new technology.

“It’s still sad,” said ASU student Shani Spencer of Jack Culolias. “They definitely got a lot more strict after that.”

ASU students say underage drinking comes with the territory in any city near a college campus.

“It’s not just this place,” said Spencer. “It’s every place in Tempe. That’s going to happen in any college town.”

“Really at the end of the day, it’s up to each individual owner to be diligent and on top of staff,” said Osborn.