European castle architecture planned for two acre Fandango site

By Curtis Riggs | November 19, 2008

CAVE CREEK – An Old World feel could soon be part of the community’s eclectic architecture when a Spanish-French castle is built on the old Fandango property.

George Duerr, of Ashley Manor Weddings, hopes to build a wedding chapel on the two-acre property near Spur Cross and Cave Creek roads by late 2009 or early 2010. He presently operates two wedding chapels in Chandler.

He expects to have 400 weddings annually at his Cave Creek chapel. He intends to acquire a Small Business Administration loan to fund the building project.

Fandango“We are going to convert it into a castle with Spanish and French influences,” Duerr said, adding it already has the preliminary blessing of Cave Creek Planning Director Ian Cordwell.
“It will fill a lot of hotel rooms,” Duerr said. He wants to open a facility locally because there are a lot of interesting things to do in Cave Creek. He also needs a north Valley location for his business.

“It’s a pretty eclectic city. I’m excited about what you have to offer,” he said.

Duerr said Cordwell seemed to be receptive to his idea “because it is not another bar.”
Cordwell’s main concern over the new venture is outdoor music.

“I told him to remember it is a residential area and to keep the music indoors,” Cordwell said.

Some of the biggest changes to the building will be to the front of it. He said some walls are also planned toward the front of the building.

Cordwell has no concerns about violating town height restrictions with the new castle. He said the building will be spread out on the property.

Prudential American Associates Realtor Arlie Gross sold the two-acre, 4,400-square-foot Fandango building to Duerr for $2 million. Escrow just closed on the transaction.
“It will bring a lot of people in because there will be a lot of weddings,” Gross said.

Photo: The original Fandango Restaurant building, which changed hands a few years ago to become Long Branch Saloon, recently sold for $2 million to George Duerr, who also owns the successful Ashley Manor Weddings in Chandler.
Photo by Linda Bentley