If you drove down McClintock Drive anytime within the last 40 years, it would have been hard to miss the massive red barn sitting on the corner of University Drive, always filled with vivacious people and good times. After closing their doors in 2005, The Mission @ Minder Binder will open after a long two-year renovation.
What is now considered to be a part of Tempe history, Minder Binder may look different on the outside to those familiar with the bar’s past appearance, but before the bars “ghosts of regulars past“ grab their pitchforks, people will be ecstatic to find that the inside has been virtually untouched with the exception of minor necessary upgrades, leaving behind 40 years of great memories, and a new bar that is ready to make more.
“Rule of thumb was anything in the bar that guests saw, touched, or had memories of, was kept,” new owner Kristen Bell says.
There was no issue keeping true to the authenticity of the bar during the remodel. Bell’s dad, who is the visionary behind the project, was a sophomore at Arizona State University in 1972 when the bar originally opened. A family affair, a third Bell, Kristen’s brother, is the contractor for the project.
Bell says her family was interested in reopening the bar because it was a way to preserve the essence of fond memories people have.
“Someone stops by almost every day to take a look around and find a piece of themselves they left here. It may be their name etched in the booths or something they had written on the railing. They are always so surprised when they find it,” Bell says.
What will be emphasized in the reopen is the “old-school” way of how things used to be run, and the way people were treated.
The building did see major renovations on the outside, however. The building was not torn down but expanded upon changing the look drastically. The inside saw a major renovation in the back of the house. The kitchen has been upgraded with all new appliances, as well as the bathrooms. No more pig troughs in the men’s bathroom, however, the original bars, booths, and the second story have remained intact. Hanging from the ceiling on the second floor are antiques and Hollywood memorabilia that are larger than life.
Minder Binder is now waiting on final permits from the city and anticipated to be open before the end of the year. The bar originally opened in October of 1972 but 2015 will be the start of a brand new chapter.
The Mission @ Minder Binder, 715 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe