Meet the Locals: The Chuckbox

Tags: BlogBusinessRestaurants & DiningSpotlight

Background: The Chuckbox is one of the oldest businesses in Downtown Tempe still in operation and Paul Marquardt has been there since the beginning (since he was a teen) working with the creator/owner, Frank.

Here’s Paul’s take on The Chuckbox, and living and working in Downtown Tempe.


The Chuckbox was created by a great guy, Frank, over 46 years ago, and he still owns it today. Because they wanted him to move from the Valley, he gave up his career as an executive at a “no longer around” corporate hamburger chain. He wanted to remain in Phoenix to focus on his family, and create a new, and completely different, family hamburger restaurant.  His creation, The Chuckbox, was one of the very first to develop the concept of having our customers watch as their food cooks over our mesquite grill. Chuckbox was also probably one of the very first restaurants in the Valley to introduce the idea of an open condiment table, where you can put anything you want on your burger, as long as you “play it fair”.

We've tried to create an environment that's fun and comfortable for the customer, as well as for the employees. Many of our employees have worked for us for 10, 20, 30 years, and few, even longer!

As for the customers, We feel like the concept of great hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, along with very reasonable prices, keep people coming back to the Chuckbox for generations.  We hear stories from our customers all the time, about how they've been coming since they were young, back in the '70s, and now they are bringing their kids, and grandkids!

Since I've been at the Chuckbox for over 46 years, I obviously love it. I also love downtown Tempe. I graduated from Tempe High School, and have lived around the Mill Avenue area, for almost 55 years.  I've seen a lot of fun places come and go over the years. Some of my old time favorites, were Monti's, Coffee Plantation, the Spaghetti Company, ZTejas, and more.  My favorite go-to places now, are Casey Moore's, Pete's Fish & Chips, Rosita's, and the Valley Art Theater.  Almost every afternoon I walk or ride my bike around Tempe Town Lake, then around the downtown area.  I never get tired of sightseeing and people watching in a place I consider my home.


Don't know about you, but we love The Chuckbox. Next time you visit make sure to snap a pic and tag #DowntownTempe!


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