End of an era: Monti's La Casa Vieja to close on Nov. 17

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

TEMPE, Ariz. -- After nearly 60 years in business, one of the best-known restaurants in the state is closing its doors.

Monti's La Casa Vieja, an icon on Mill Avenue in Tempe, will close on Nov. 17.

Michael Monti sold Hayden House last month. The new owner reportedly plans to develop two high-rise towers.

The oldest continuously occupied structure in the Phoenix metro area, Monti's is part of a rich history. Originally a home, the adobe hacienda that houses Monti's was built in 1871 by Charles Trumbull Hayden.

Five years later, Hayden and his new wife turned it into a hotel, a blacksmith shop, a post office and a general store.

In 1877, the Haydens had a son. Born in the hacienda, Carl T. Hayden would go on to serve nearly 60 years in the House and Senate.

After the Hayden family moved in the 1890s, they referred to the hacienda as La Casa Vieja, which is Spanish for "The Old House."

The Hayden daughters ran a restaurant there until financial issues forced the family to sell the property in the 1930s.

Proprietorship changed hands several times until Monti's father bought the building in 1954 and opened his restaurant two years later.

In 1984, C.T. Hayden House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The developer reportedly paid nearly $17 million for the 2.5-acre site.

While the historic house will be preserved, plans for the property include a 15-story office building, a 16-story Kimpton Hotel and 17,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Construction is slated to begin next year.