Lucky Wishbone on 22nd Street (Photo courtesy of LoopNet)

Lucky Wishbone’s 22nd St. Location Closes, Brother John’s Catering to Move in

December 30, 2023
By Matt Sterner

On Friday, December 29, Lucky Wishbone at 2712 E. 22nd St. permanently closed its doors because of an upcoming — and massive — construction project planned for the nearby bridge. The bridge is known to be the quickest route from one side of the train tracks to the other.

“So, the 22nd Street bridge has been condemned for several decades now and the city is doing a federal infrastructure project,” said Josh Jacobsen of Lucky Wishbone. “The city received roughly $20 million and the plan is to start construction on the bridge next year. The bridges are going to come down and it’s going to dead end 22nd Street and Tucson Boulevard on the eastern part. Then dead end at Cherrybell and 22nd Street on the western part.”

Therefore, with the lack of access to the Lucky Wishbone location on 22nd Street, and also that the project is expected to take up to three years to complete, it made the most sense for Jacobsen to close the doors to the restaurant.

Jacobsen also oversees two other Lucky Wishbone locations — the restaurant at 1465 W. Silverlake Rd. and the spot on 5220 S. Nogales Hwy.

(Photo courtesy of Lucky Wishbone)

In total, there are still seven other Lucky Wishbone restaurants spread out around Tucson, but it’s still unfortunate to see a location shut its doors due to road construction.

“Unfortunately, these infrastructure projects need to happen but when they’re planned out this way, it destroys the businesses around the construction project,” Jacobsen added. “For us, we saw the issue coming down the line and recognized that with 22nd Street being closed we wouldn’t be able to sustain the business. It’s just not convenient for people in the area.”

Fun fact: Lucky Wishbone’s first location opened 70 years ago in 1953, making it Tucson’s very first local fast-food restaurant. Jacobsen plans to keep that legacy cruisin’ by taking all of the equipment from the 22nd Street location and opening a brand-new spot.

(Photo courtesy of Lucky Wishbone)
Moving Forward

“We have an entire restaurant that’s ready to go and we’re actively looking for a new spot in town to reopen,” said Jacobsen. “This move gives us the opportunity to work on a new Lucky Wishbone concept — a smaller location and a smaller menu with fried chicken, shrimp, steak fingers, and chicken fingers. We’re also going to add a drive-thru.”

And, like someone once said years ago, and then it just stuck around: When one door closes, another one opens. With Lucky Wishbone closing its 22nd Street restaurant, that opens up space for another local business to move in — a business that’s in dire need of more space for its catering side of things.

“I was able to get Brother John’s to check out the space and they loved it,” Jacobsen added.

Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ (Photo by Jackie Tran)
Brother John’s Catering Business is Booming

John Aldecoa, owner of Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ, has been finding great success with the restaurant’s catering business. Space is already pretty tight at the restaurant located at 1801 N. Stone Ave. so the need for extra commissary has been on Aldecoa’s radar for a while now.

Recently, Brother John’s signed an agreement to be the exclusive caterer for Crystal Classics (the former Tucson Chamber of Commerce building), and they also signed the lease to take over The Rubi House — a downtown mansion that now hosts weddings and other events. Aldecoa and Brother John’s are now operating The Rubi House as an event space which includes catering.

Therefore, to meet this growth, they desperately need a commissary kitchen to service all of their catering needs. Everything sort of fell into place once Aldecoa heard about Lucky Wishbone closing on 22nd Street.

“This solves a lot of our production challenges at Brother John’s,” said Aldecoa. “We run a scratch kitchen and, I mean, our cheese sauce is made from scratch and we’ll be able to make larger batches at the 22nd Street location. Our collard greens — it’s a two-day process — and we make our own barbecue sauces. All of that stuff is made on a total of nine burners.”

Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ (Photo by Jackie Tran)

At the restaurant, Aldecoa mentioned that oftentimes they run out of food on certain evenings, and they’ve had to turn away catering gigs due to the lack of space to make more food.

“It’s been a nice alignment of the stars,” Aldecoa added. He needed a larger kitchen to fulfill the restaurant and catering needs, and the opportunity to keep the former Lucky Wishbone building in the local culinary scene landed on his plate, so to speak.

Stay Tuned

Jacobsen has not found a location for the new Lucky Wishbone concept just yet but he did mention they were scouting the south side of Tucson and even Vail. In the meantime, he’s helping the former employees of the 22nd Street location with job placement.

As for Brother John’s catering business, head over to their website if you’re interested in booking upcoming weddings, celebrations, or any other type of event that demands some smokin’ barbecue.

“We love celebrating with other people during their weddings or other kinds of events,” said Aldecoa. “It’s special to be there to celebrate with them.”

In Conclusion (turn your volume up)

To end this article, I want to remind everyone about the nostalgic jingle that used to air on the radio. Here’s Lucky Wishbone’s “banger” if you’ve never heard it before: Lucky Wishbone’s Jingle.

For more information on the other Lucky Wishbone locations, visit For more information about Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ, visit

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