Long Wongs – MIll Ave.
Long Wong’s on Mill Avenue was the heart through which all the musical blood of the Tempe scene flowed in the 1980s and 1990s. The Gin Blossoms, Refreshments, Dead Hot Workshop, Pistoleros and a host of other local bands made their name there. Long Wong’s was a small wings restaurant with a bar, not very well set up for presenting music. Yet, although bands had gigs in other venues, Long Wong’s was a place they remembered fondly. If anything, the cramped quarters amped up the rock and roll, anything goes vibe. “You did stuff there you didn’t do anywhere else,” as Curtis Grippe, Dead Hot Workshop’s drummer, told Phoenix New Times in an article about the venue’s closing in 2004. “For 15 years, seven days a week, Long Wong’s on Mill has been a rock ‘n’ roll institution,” Christopher O’Connor wrote in that article. Fitting its legend, Long Wong’s had survived to be the last important music club on the Mill Avenue scene, the last place with soul on the main drag.