Items from Old Town Scottsdale’s Pink Pony will head to an online auction May 26 and stay open for bidding until noon on May 31.
After a nearly 70-year history, the restaurant will head to the auction block on May 26, though much of its memorabilia will not.
Old Town Scottsdale’s Pink Pony restaurant shuttered last May, and now anyone can own a piece of its history — even if it’s just the kitchen sink.
Some of the restaurant’s memorabilia and its equipment will head to an online auction May 26 and stay open for bidding until noon on May 31.
Prospective bidders will have a chance to see everything in person from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 30 at the former restaurant, 3831 N. Scottsdale Road.
Auctioneer George Cunningham said he encourages bidders to come to the in-person preview so they don’t have to rely on online photos.
A piece of Scottsdale history
Bidders can take home stainless steel kitchen equipment and leather upholstery from the restaurant. But its owner, Tim Smith, said much of the iconic memorabilia will not be for sale.
“I really do think stuff from the ’40s and ’60s should stay in Scottsdale,” Smith said.
The Pink Pony housed memorabilia over its decades-long run, including the original home plate for Scottsdale Stadium. Smith said he’s in talks with the city to repurpose these items and keep them in Scottsdale.
He also said he isn’t going to sell the restaurant’s series of caricatures drawn by Disney artist Don Barkley, who used to draw Pink Pony patrons while sitting in the restaurant.
“It doesn’t mean anything to one individual person as much as it means something to the community,” he said.
As of now, he said he hasn’t gone through all his memorabilia and determined what to sell and what not to sell.
The place to be during spring training
Originally opened in 1947, the restaurant closed its doors three times from 2009 to 2016 before permanently closing last year. It moved to its final location in 1970.
The Pink Pony’s proximity to Scottsdale Stadium launched it to national acclaim as a go-to spot for spring training fans and those within the MLB’s ranks — a 1986 New York Times article called it “a celebrated Arizona bar favored by baseball men.”
That same year, Sports Illustrated treated the restaurant to a six-page profile that said there were often enough major-league executives in the Pink Pony on a given night to make as many as 15 trades.
The restaurant was placed on Scottsdale’s Historic Register in 2004.
“This community has a special connection to baseball,” city spokesman Mike Phillips said. “It was a stadium plopped down in the middle of a rural community. Today, we’re this highly urbanized, sophisticated city, and baseball is still a part of our culture. And the Pink Pony was there for all of that.”
Phillips said the restaurant catered not just to baseball fans, but to executives, players and umpires, as well.
“It helped put Scottsdale on the map,” Phillips said. “This is a focal point of spring training. This is a place where people want to — and need to — stop by, and the Pink Pony helped create that.”
Smith said he sold the building to a new tenant who will begin construction in June and is aiming for an August opening.
However, he said he signed a non-disclosure agreement and could not provide the name of the new tenant.
Cunningham and Associates Inc. will conduct the auction online at AuctionAZ.com. Bidders are required to pay a $200 deposit, which is refundable if they don’t purchase anything.
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