Sunday Brunch at the 1929 Wrigley Mansion, More Visitors in Phoenix

Odometer (Legend):  558,659

Odometer (Integra):  246,106

Imagine being wealthy enough in the late 1920s to own several mansions across the United States:  Chicago, Philadelphia, and other cities — the smallest of which, in Phoenix, at 16,000 square feet.

William Wrigley Jr. was an entrepreneur from a young age, starting his own business selling soap and baking powder at age 29.  At that time, he would give his customers 2 packages of chewing gum as an incentive with each can of baking powder they purchased.  Wrigley’s chewing gum soon became more popular than any of his other products, and the rest was history.  Wrigley went on to hold a controlling interest in several other companies, own the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, and build 5 residences.  Next time you’re chomping on a stick of Big Red, think of him.

Wrigley’s mansion in Phoenix (photo above from 1949), is set atop a 100-foot-tall knoll with views of the Biltmore and the community below.  Construction was completed in 1931, only a year before Wrigley died at age 70.  The mansion went on to be owned by another big wig in the food industry: Geordie Hormel, known for creating Spam (he also claimed to have invented the corn dog).  Hormel bought the Wrigley mansion as a $2.6 million 50th wedding anniversary for his wife, and restored it to his former glory.   He passed away in 2006 but the facility lives on as a private club for Sunday brunch, fancy weddings, and other special events.

On Sunday, January 28th, 86 years and 2 days after William Wrigley passed away, I rolled up the steep driveway from Telawa Trail Road with my dad & stepmom and valet parked my Legend sedan for a brunch reservation I’d made online about 6 weeks prior.  The view of the city was spectacular and the weather couldn’t have been better.

We had about 15 minutes to wander around the facility before being seated at our table, so we went upstairs to see a few of the 24 bedrooms and 2 of the 12 bathrooms.  All of the finishes, materials, and fixtures retain their original appearance but have been well preserved or restored.

Hearty buffet provisions were available in 3 separate rooms:  The first, with fruits, bagels, and salad items for lighter fare.  The second had the main brunch courses:  beef, prime rib, shrimp, lobster, potatoes, and an omelet station.  And the last was up a few stairs in what appeared to be a library, stocked with all sorts of cupcakes and other sugary goodness.  Each time one of us would get up from our seat to make another pass at the buffet, the servers would come around while we were gone and roll up our napkins again.  There was a lot of fine attention to detail.

For $59 a plate, the Wrigley champagne brunch is definitely not a McDonald’s McMuffin value menu, but for a rare treat with special guests, I thought it was well worth it for a way to spend a classy Sunday and get a panoramic view of the city skyline on a crystal blue January day.  We returned to the valeted Legend feeling full and satisfied.  “You’re going to have to roll me to the car,” Tanya said.  No wonder we weren’t hungry again until much later that evening.

The revolving door at Hotel Hugie hasn’t had a break yet — the month of January I ran at nearly 100% occupancy and loved it.  Last week, Dad & Tanya drove 1,421 miles in fewer than 48 hours from Seattle to Phoenix for a trade show called Oasis.  Each January, it draws more than 3,000 buyers to the Phoenix convention center to see and order knick-knacks and souvenirs for their gift shops and visitor centers.  Dad and Tanya hand-craft wooden items like antler-adorned walking sticks, keychains, magnets, and money clips for their company, Yellowstone River Trading.

It was an action-packed few days with the family visiting, with lots of things to do outside the 9-5 trade show grind.  We dined at some new restaurants, visited an escape room, and took care of a few home improvement projects.  I also spent a bit of time at the local junkyard, harvesting a piece of a quarter panel to repair some damage to the left rear corner of my Legend sedan.  It was my first time using a heavy-duty angle grinder and I am pleased with the results!  Thanks to my friend Mirel for the tools and the expertise.

New and old pieces of quarter panel.  Updates to come!

Below are a few more photos from recent events.  I received a visit from Redline Reviews’ Editor-in-Chief, Sofyan Bey.

Here’s a 5-minute video filmed just before dropping Sofyan off at the Sky Harbor airport.

Earlier in the week, I dropped off Kevin from Duluth, GA.  I’ve been to the airport a lot lately!

Kevin recently sold his 1994 Legend L sedan.  He had owned the car for 18 years, 11 months, and 26 days.  Fortunately, he still has a 1994 LS coupe, his “Polar Bear.”

I got my front bumper plugs installed on the Vigor – paint matched & all!

Integra parked streetside just west of Chase Field, where the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team plays.

Visiting the Oasis gift convention.

Dinner at ‘Camp Social’ restaurant on 7th Street in Phoenix – we ate in a little trailer like that!

Pretty cool old-school Ace Hardware sign.

Dinner on the patio at Hula’s Modern Tiki, with special guest Jake the poodle.

Home Depot on a Saturday in the coupe.

Junkyard find:  1989 Honda Accord LX 5-speed

It had 349,271 miles on it!

Escape room group in Tempe, Arizona

Legend sedan parked at Wrigley’s valet area

Upstairs hallway at Wrigley Mansion

View from our dining table

Buffet room #1

I spotted my car valet parked below

Tanya & dad

Headed back to real civilization after a few minutes living the high life.

Organizing my new Kobalt tool chest!

Fits right in in the garage.

Have a great week!

12 Responses to “Sunday Brunch at the 1929 Wrigley Mansion, More Visitors in Phoenix”

  1. The view from Wrigley Mansion is spectacular! I kept watching the video with Sofyan driving your Integra and was just waiting for him to do one of his “accelerations” in it, haha!

    • Haha, I don’t think he’s used to driving old cars with 250k miles and only 160 hp! He babied it. Was nice to catch up with him for a few minutes during his visit.

  2. Woah! Great post, Tyson! The Wrigley Mansion tour was terrific. The views were amazing- seems like a great place for a leisurely brunch. Also, on behalf of your foodie readers- A+ for the descriptions and photos of that meal!

    What happened to the Legend sedan? Looks almost like the infamous 90’s wheel arch rust so common to Honda products in this part of the country, but you don’t often see that in the Southwest, right?

    • You are right, the Legend sedan has a rusty driver side quarter panel. The car lived in Illinois for 7 years and then Utah for another 7, before I brought it to Arizona. I had rust repair done 10 years ago when I brought the car to the desert. However, a friend recently had an accident with it which caused the repair to be dislodged. So, now it’s time to fix it again. I’ve gotten estimates all the way from $600 to $1,600.

  3. Should have grabbed a bag of popcorn before reading…so much good stuff here. Now, I’ll need to see that Wrigley Mansion myself someday…too bad for the reservation limitation. Sorry to see the Sedan got a little boo-boo. Hope that QTR panel goes in smoothly. I’m still at a loss as to what to do with Grandpa’s 6’s driver’s door (that’s a lot of possessives lol). If you happen to see a clean Pebble Ash door when you’re venturing around, let me know! 🙂

    • Haha, next time I’ll put a disclaimer at the top of the post that says “POPCORN ALERT – Long Post!” I’ll keep eyes and ears open for a Pebble Ash door for the 6. There’s bound to be one out there somewhere. I did notice a couple of sweet Mazdas while hanging at the imports section of U Pick U Pull: a 929 and a Millenia S. Remember the Millenia? So sexy!

  4. Great report! I love the new tool box. That food looked too good to eat. And I will add Wrigley Mansion to my Bucket List!

  5. Great post Tyson! The big house looks so beautiful, is that house in since 1929? You did a great job to cut the metal to make sure if it was fit in on your Legend. I hope you are doing well!

    • Yes it’s hard to believe the Wrigley Mansion has been around for about 90 years! It is well preserved and most of it has been renovated or restored. I am having a great weekend – hope you are too! Thanks Josh.

  6. Glad to finally see a toolbox!! Harbor Freight will become your best friend, and a lot of their cheap stuff is entirely adequate for basic home wrenching.

    Nice work on the junkyard Legend, I never knew your sedan had been repaired before but sounds like this time will be a solid cut-and-weld fix. I remember my first time with an angle grinder and they are strangely fun. Rivet guns are almost as cool.

    • Haha, I was amazed how many tools I actually own. No more rooting around boxes and bins to find that elusive 10mm socket anymore! You can basically dismantle an entire 1990s Honda with just that single tool. Thanks for the tip on Harbor!

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