Skip to main content
Original Issue

Alice's Restaurant Rock meets jock over chili fries at Alice Cooper's new eatery

Seminal shock-rocker Alice Cooper has changed his tune. Cooper,
who long ago heeded the call of The Byrds in So You Want to Be a
Rock 'n' Roll Star, is now guided by an inner muse playing So
You Want to Be a Restaurateur. Last December, in his hometown of
Phoenix, Cooper, 51, launched Alice Cooper'stown, thus becoming
the latest celebrity to throw his hat into the onion ring.

Located just a stage dive south of America West Arena and a line
drive west of Bank One Ballpark, Cooper'stown is a veritable
Hard Jock Cafe, a venue where Pete Rose is as exalted as Axl
Rose. An airy two-story, indoor-outdoor eatery, the ambiance is
equal parts tailgate bash and backstage pass. Jason Kidd of the
Suns and Jay Bell of the Diamondbacks often stop by for a
postgame meal. "I'm a sports nut," says Cooper, a most affable
gent when the mascara comes off. "At Cortez High [in Phoenix] I
ran a 4:32 mile, and our track team had a four-year record of
72-0. I've even been to the other Cooperstown."

What would a theme eatery be without memorabilia? Rock trinkets,
such as a Fender guitar display featuring the axes of Eric
Clapton and Pete Townshend, share space on the walls with
autographed jerseys from Joe Montana and Michael Jordan, and
boxing trunks from Muhammad Ali. Dominating the interior is a
wall of video monitors that can be programmed to show as many as
16 broadcasts, or as few as one spread over all 16 screens. On
this day, for example, footage of John Fogerty singing
Centerfield aired on four screens as the Dodgers' Devon White
played the position on two others.

You can get almost anything you want at Alice's
restaurant--everything from Ryne Sandburgers to No More Mr. Nice
Guy Chipotle Chicken Pasta. One of the menu's biggest sellers is
a two-foot-long hot dog named the Big Unit after part owner and
Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson.

The culinary arts might seem an odd gig for a man who has
recorded hits titled Poison and Welcome to My Nightmare. On a
recent VH-1 Behind the Music special, rocker Rob Zombie praised
Cooper as "the Johnny Appleseed of bad taste." Zombie may have
been referring to a Toronto concert in the early '70s in which
Cooper tossed a live chicken into the audience, and the mob
threw it back onto the stage--in several pieces. "So I do have
experience," says Cooper, "serving food to large masses of

--John Walters