Arvizu's El Fresnal Grocery Store
|photo by Esther Groves|
|El Fresnal Grocery in downtown Phoenix|
This building was constructed in 1900 -- 12 years before Arizona became a state. It was the earliest Hispanic-owned store in Phoenix, and was run by Trinidad Arvizu from 1900 until to 1920. The store ceased operations in 1924 (when the number of grocery stores had increased by nearly tenfold.)
Today, Arvizu's El Fresnal Grocery Store sits empty; its worn red bricks still bears the worn paint advertising the long-closed grocer. At the rear of the building, there's even more hidden history embedded in the bricks -- specifically, remnants of a "Mexican Masonic Temple."
|Photos by E. Groves|
|Arvizu's El Fresnal Grocery Store|
There's not much to see inside the store anymore. A peek through the windows reveals a couple of empty, open rooms with ratty blue carpet on the floors. There are a couple metal dining chairs in the front room, but no evidence that this place used to be one of the premier grocers in downtown Phoenix.
|Masonic symbols still adorn the back of the El Fresnal Grocery Store building.|
If you want to check out it, it's easy enough to find. Arvizu's El Fresnal Grocery Store is located at 310 E. Buchanan Street, around the corner from Coach & Willie's, and right across the street from the fisheries building.