Photography by Headquarters Restaurant and Bar
by John Stapleton
Before Maricopa was incorporated, Headquarters Restaurant and Bar was where the area’s leaders met and talked business, mostly agricultural.
Their meetings included eating healthy portions of Mexican-American style dishes, breakfasts that could fill you up for the entire day and burros so big they could feed two people. When Hollywood legend John Wayne walked through the doors he was just a regular.
“He just said ‘Hi’ to folks, and folks would just reply back with a ‘Hello,’ just like it still is for any of our customers,” owner Alma Farrell says.
With eight decades of being in business, Farrell has seen the ups-and-downs of the family-owned restaurant, including fire, the passing of the original owner (her father-in-law), the residential explosion in Maricopa, the construction of the Maricopa overpass in front of the restaurant, and of course, the pandemic that restricted many of the older patrons who frequented the restaurant.
Headquarters had also been able to fend off competition with popular franchise operations that have come into Maricopa.
The latest challenge is the supply issue affecting the pricing of food and service. Farrell says they have not emerged as successfully out of the pandemic as many would think, saying it is a “week-to-week discovery” with the changing cost of product and availability.
Farrell says quality or ingredients are not being sacrificed.
“We take pride in serving a good homemade breakfast, and 99.5% of product is prepared by our cooks, which is much better than serving frozen items,” she says. “I truly believe that is why we have been rated for our good breakfasts.”
Lunch and dinner items are a combination of traditional Mexican and American dishes, with many of the recipes coming from Farrell’s mother.
“All of our items were items that my mother Dora Loeffelholz put on the menu,” Farrell says. “She was an outstanding cook and brought her specialties to Headquarters, and we have tried to keep them alive in her memory for the fantastic job she did when she ran it in the ‘70s.”
As Maricopa changes, Headquarters remains the link to the past, not only in food and decor, but with the new generation of grandchildren doing the everyday work.
She says she couldn’t do it without them or her staff, which has remained for decades through all
19640 N. John Wayne Pkwy., Maricopa