The Story Of Miracle Mile Deli
“Where Did The Name Miracle Mile Come From?”
For over sixty years, Miracle Mile has served its customers with the freshest and finest quality food. Our restaurants have been owned and operated for three generations and continue to provide a unique experience in casual dining.
Our story began in 1949, when our founder, Jack Grodzinsky, along with his wife and children, arrived in Tucson, Arizona from Brooklyn, New York. Upon his arrival, Jack spent the first few days in Tucson searching for a business he could purchase to support his family. When he could not find a business he liked, and not having enough money for a car, he took a bus ride to Phoenix. Across the street from the bus stop in Phoenix, there was a small restaurant called Pat’s Café which specialized in typical “Arizona” type food such as chicken fried steak and liver & onions.
After four hours of looking around, Jack returned to the bus stop and purchased the existing café. Wanting to change the menu a bit, Jack tried to introduce items like corned beef and pastrami. However the ideas were rejected for the most part since the general public was not familiar with these “back East” delicacies.
Two years after Pat’s Café was operating in 1951, Jack and his two sisters purchased Herman’s Corned Beef Junction at McDowell Road and 16th Street. This outlying area from 7th Street to 24th Street on McDowell Road was the first business district to be developed away from the downtown area.
This mile long strip that came to be known as the “MIRACLE MILE”.
A few months after the “Miracle Mile” name became familiar with the surrounding community, Jack decided to change the name of Herman’s Corned Beef Junction to Miracle Mile so that everyone would always be able to easily remember the location. Since the restaurant had earned a fabulous reputation, each subsequent location continued to use the name Miracle Mile for the reason of recognition.
In 1954, the 16th Street & McDowell location had a kitchen fire which destroyed the restaurant. Jack bounced back quickly and opened another location at Park Central Mall on Central Avenue and Earll Road. This particular location is where Miracle Mile’s “cafeteria style” concept was introduced became locally famous for, not only delicious food, but fast and efficient service as well. The Miracle Mile location at Park Central became a great meeting place for lawyers, doctors, business men and women, and families of all ages to congregate for lunch and dinner… the restaurant became a favorite “hot spot” very quickly. Miracle Mile served the Valley at this shopping center for 46 years and although the Park Central location no longer exists, many people still believe the current business to be a Miracle Mile (which is not the case).
In 1965, Jack opened another location at Chris-Town Shopping Center, Arizona’s first indoor regional shopping mall. Miracle Mile was one of the original tenants in this exciting new shopping concept, and stayed 43 years! Thousands of our customers remember coming to Chris-Town to dine with their families and admire our incredible deli counter where Jewish favorites like pickled tongue, smoked white fish, herring and of course loads of fresh Rye Bread from Karsh’s Bakery were sold.
The Chris-Town location is where George & Jill Garcia (the current President & his wife) met each other. George came into the Miracle Mile business as a “busboy” at age 15. Jill, Jack’s daughter, was helping out in the business beginning at age 12. The two did not start dating until their 20’s, but the magical chemistry between them began at a very early age. George and Jill married in the spring of 1981 and shortly thereafter, started running the business as Jack took a more limited role from the day to day operations, knowing that the business was in great hands.
In 1998, George expanded the Miracle Mile family by opening the restaurant’s first West Valley location at Arrowhead Towne Center. From opening day, the Arrowhead Towne Center location was a success and took the West Valley by storm! Later that year, Jack Grodzinsky passed away. His family is grateful that he was able to see and enjoy this incredible expansion of his “creation” before his death. Needless to say, his legacy still lives on with these restaurants.
George followed up the Arrowhead location by opening another restaurant at the Camelback Colonnade in 1999. This was the largest Miracle Mile location in the 50 year history of Miracle Mile, at the time, occupying over 6,000 square feet. The two serving lines that George created in this restaurant, gave Miracle Mile the ability to serve over 600 people in a two-hour time frame and very well suited the area’s needs.
In 2004, George & Jill’s son, Josh, graduated from college and decided to join into the family business. Josh immediately began managing the Arrowhead Towne Center location.
Currently, George and Jill have now begun to enjoy life outside of the restaurant business, while Josh oversees much of the day to day operation at the Camelback Colonnade location.
With Miracle Mile proudly into its third generation, and over sixty years of being in the Valley, the “old days” of Miracle Mile have since become a memory. However the Miracle Mile tradition still continues as the Garcia Family carries on the name with pride, offering consistently delicious food, reasonable prices and great service in a family friendly atmosphere!
Jack Grodzinsky has passed on his hard work ethic and love of the restaurant business to his family that is striving every day to live up to the legacy that he created. Jack is gone now, but if heaven has pastrami, surely he is piling it high, just like the Miracle Mile family has been doing since Harry Truman was President.