Tucked away in the back corner of a shopping center on Scottsdale Road, sits Guido’s Chicago Meats and Deli — a place that also lies in the hearts and stomachs of the Chaparral High School students a few blocks away.
For 33 years, the Italian-style restaurant has curbed the hunger of its neighboring students, serving as a local hotspot for athletes, musicians, and even mathematicians.
“The orchestra comes in here, the football team has been in here, and lots of parents come in here,” said Joe Guido, owner of the restaurant.
From banners to school announcements, Mr. Guido said he helps the school, when possible, with the outcome always helping his business. Cost isn’t a factor to him and his contribution serves as an advertisement for the community.
However, his famous food has gone a long way for the school’s athletes, feeding them during events or before games. He said he provides the football team with spaghetti and meatballs, and caters his tenured food often.
Mr. Guido said he credits the long-standing partnership from “serving good food.” His commitment to excellence has stood for so long, it surpasses the days his daughter, Marissa Guido, attended the high school.
She began working at the restaurant when she was 12 and apart from her close ties, she said she never had to publicize to bring kids in for business.
“All the seniors used to come eat lunch here,” Marissa Guido said. “It would be crazy every lunch.”
Freshman Isabella Armarderas said the restaurant is still popular among kids. She said she’s one of the regular patrons, who is often greeted by the owner, each day after school.
Ms. Armaderas described the venue as a comfortable place reminding her of home. She said it’s relaxed and anything but fancy, which is what keeps her coming back.
The cozy abode started with humble beginnings in 1983 when Mr. Guido’s family moved to Scottsdale, after having a successful business selling Italian goods in Chicago, which led to cooking. What was once a 1,400 square-foot counter, with no seats, soon became the full-fledged restaurant it is today.
Mr. Guido said he’s not only seen his business grow but his customers as he’s witnessed customers come in with their kids, telling them about their memories at Guido’s, hoping to pass on more.
“When you work here that long, that’s what you see,” he said.
With such ties to the school and the community, Chaparral Athletic Director Tommy Eubanks said it was a no-brainer to partner with the restaurant.
“We have many partnerships set up in the same way as we do with Guido’s,” Mr. Eubanks said. “We like to set up a partnership where we can both benefit.”
“The family that owns Guido’s is great. I know them personally. They’ve always treated our students well and have been great to our school,” Mr. Eubanks added.
Now heading in to the 34th year of operation, Guido’s continues to expand on its local fame. The walls are currently riddled with a multitude of photos featuring local broadcasters and players, including Phoenix Suns center, Alex Len.
Yet, the expansion doesn’t stop with fame, as Mr. Guido’s wife, Araceli, has expanded the menu to include tamales and Italian cookies. For those remembering the original small-time deli counter from 1983, Mr. Guido said the Italian sausage is still the No. 1 specialty and always homemade.