Future of former Beau Brummel Social Club looks bleak

Future of former Beau Brummel Social Club looks bleak
Beau Brummel Social Club (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A demolition permit has been issued for the historic Beau Brummel Social Club at 1148 North Main.

It's the round building just north of Speedway, which has fallen on hard times and is now empty, the electricity and water have been turned off.

However, it has a rich history and some would like to see it preserved, repurposed, or remodeled.

Historian Ken Scoville is asking for a 30-day reprieve so that a buyer can be found who would be willing to put some money into it to save it.

Debi Chess Mabie is another who feels the building needs to be preserved. She is the Executive Director of the Tucson Arts Foundation and was instrumental in preserving Dunbar School, the last segregated school in Tucson.

"When you tear down structures, you also tear down the memories," she said. "You tear down the ability to physically see what happened there."

And a lot happened there. Here is an essay that outlines the history of the Beau Brummel Social Club.

Historic Name: Duke's Drive-In (1945/46) and Beau Brummel Social Club
Address: 1148 N. Main Avenue (1148 N. 12th Avenue) 
Construction Date: 1945/46 
Architect: Arthur T. Brown

The building is the last of its kind in Tucson, a round mid-20th century architecture.

The owner of the property, Danny Duke, the owner of Gemstone Mineral Interiors, said he would not tear it down over the weekend but made no promises after that.

He is selling the property and has no plans for restoration. No decision will be made until next week, after Jan. 1, 2018.

The building was also used in the Academy Award winning movie "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" in 1974. The interior diner scenes were shot in the small, iconic building.

If the building is not repurposed and demolition moves forward, Mabie says she would like to excavate the memories.

"You know like preserving the bar, preserving the carpet," she said. "There are things that are iconic in here."

Scoville is hoping for the best but is fighting a tight deadline.

"Just 30 days," he said. If we can't find somebody in 30 days, we're probably not going to save it."

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