By Alex Pearl ’10
Anyone who has visited AJ’s on Friday during the fall, winter or spring is familiar with the tidal wave of collared shirts and red clothing that arrives around noon.
Swelling lines, opening wallets and cash registers, devoured meals and filled tables are all results of the customer monsoon that is the younger portion of the Brophy student body.
“Business is good when the students are here,” said Gabe Flores, the manager of AJ’s Fine Foods across the street from Brophy. “And it’s not only on Fridays, it’s typically throughout the week.” Mr. Flores attested that Brophy business on Fridays brought about a “spike” of around $300-400.
Many Brophy students patronize businesses near to the school as a helpful resource, and the prime use for that resource is to fill stomachs.
Many of the businesses open near Brophy are restaurants of many varieties, including older flavors like AJ’s, Quizno’s Subs and Chipotle, and newer appearances like Maizie’s, Two Hippies Beach House and Postino’s On Central.
These new establishments have offered a healthy dose of variety to the portion of the student body unwilling to stray far from Brophy for a meal, and their discovery by the students has proven to be a saving grace for some of the restaurants.
Andy Goldstein, manager of the Two Hippies Beach House on Camelback, said that during the summer when Brophy and Xavier students aren’t nearby that business suffers heavily.
“When we first began this (business), Brophy found us,” Goldstein said, “And between Brophy and Xavier, it really helped to put us on the map.”
The Brophy business, coupled with the word of mouth advertising created by students informing their parents and friends, contributed to what Goldstein called a “booming little business.”
The “welcome back” banner addressed to Brophy and Xavier students outside of Two Hippies as well as frequent student discounts are telltale signs of the thankfulness of Goldstein and his staff.
Even the faculty at Brophy helps to bolster these businesses.
Joel Miller, owner of Maizie’s Café, said that although support comes “not directly from the kids” due to the higher-end nature of the restaurant, that “where they affect us is their parents and the school administration. For example, in the summer when school starts up again we do an awful lot of takeout business for staff.”
“During football season,” Miller continued, “we supply the food to the coaches on Saturday when they have the team meetings.”
Miller shows his thanks to Brophy by placing a school football helmet behind the bar on a shelf, adjacent to a Sunnyslope helmet to which he has personal attachments.
Of course, crowds can bring mayhem as easily as they bring business.
Flores admitted that while he considers the business from Brophy kids to be a blessing, that “at the beginning of the year the freshman class comes down and they tend to be loud.”
The AJ’s manager explained that the students also “can be disrespectful, in the way that they’re being loud, not being courteous to other customers or other patrons that are here to shop, blocking the entrance and knowing that they’re blocking the entrance.”
Despite this, Gabe called it a “small price to pay” for the amount of revenue that Brophy brings AJ’s.