Tuscon, AZ Steakhouse Explosion, Apr 1964

Damage Placed At $50,000


For the second time in less than six months, an apparent man-caused explosion rocked Paulos’ Steak & Chop House, 4915 E. Speedway, early today, causing damage estimated at $50,000.

Police Chief Bernard L. GARMIRE said prymarks (sic) found on an outside door and on the door to the manager’s office inside the steak house indicate that “someone forcibly entered the place and was in there.

“The damage caused by the explosion would indicate that a very high, fast explosive, such as dynamite or something even faster was used.”

The Blast occurred in the bar area about 15 feet inside the front door at about 6:45 a.m. Fire Capt. Bernard OLIVER said the explosion “broke every window in the place but one.”

Acoustical tile and insulation material were ripped from the ceiling, glasses and liquor bottles were shattered, and several doors were blown off their hinges. OLIVER added.

Fire Capt. Harry E. PUTNEY described the interior of the steak house as “pretty much of a shambles.

“THIS IS something for the police bomb squad or our arson squad,” PUTNEY added.

Owner John PAULOS gave the damage estimate.

The steak house’s night manager, Michael MANUS, who lives behind the restaurant in a small home, told police that everything was normal when he locked up at 1:45 a.m.

Five hours later, he said, he got up to unlock the restaurant, he heard an explosion and saw a small puff of smoke come from the building.

Mrs. E. L. CONWAY, who lives across the street from Paulos’, at 1138 N. Arcadia Ave., said today’s blast was not as loud as one which damaged the restaurant last Nov. 18. “This one sounded like a small clap of thunder,” she said.

INVESTIGATORS said the blast apparently touched off a very small fire which was quickly extinguished by firemen from Station 7.

Fire investigators joined with detectives and police intelligence unit personnel in combing the interior of the building for clues.

Joseph HADD, gas engineering supervisor for Tucson Gas & Electric, also was on the scene.

After two hours of investigation, Detective Lt. Frank ZUNNO walked out of the building with two large envelopes containing clues picked up from the scene.

“IF TESTS at the lab check out, there’s a good chance there’s some explosive material,” ZUNNO said. “We’ve got some more digging to do.”

Last Nov. 18, investigators found a four-inch fuse inside the steak house after an apparent dynamite explosion damaged the west side of the steak house.

On Aug. 7, 1957, a charcoal broiler in the kitchen touched off a $125,000 fire which gutted the interior of the restaurant.

AND NEARLY 10 years ago, on Dec. 26, 1954, an explosion caused a half a million dollars worth of damage to Paulos, Meyerson’s White House warehouse and The Corral, a western clothing store, when they were located at W. Congress St. and N. Church Ave.

Paulos built his restaurant at its present location in 1956 as a result of the 1954 explosion.

Tucson Daily Citizen, Tucson, AZ 4 Apr 1964