The original Landmark Cafe’ has been part of Sierra Vista’s history for over four decades, the current Landmark Cafe’ has been owned and operated by Pam Anderson for almost two decades. Below is a photo of the original Landmark Cafe’ circa 1962 provided by the Fort Huachuca Museum.
The Landmark began its existence during World War II when Margaret Carmichael sold the property at 400 West Fry Blvd. to the U.S. Government for the sum of $1.00. When constructed in 1942, the building was intended to fill a need to provide adequate recreation facilities for the large population of African American military personnel stationed at Fort Huachuca.
The Fort, which already had a rich history with African American troops, particularly the famous Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry in the early part of the Century, would be the training home to two divisions (the 92nd and 93rd) of black soldiers (among other units) during World War II. Initially, the Army used the building as a USO Club. The building sat vacant after World War II but was turned into a Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) Club when Fort Huachuca was reactivated in 1954.
In 1975 the building was purchased at auction by Tony Schaieb and Roger Barnett. A few years later Schaieb bought out Barnett’s interest in the facility and turned it into the Landmark Restaurant/Steakhouse. Much of the furnishings came from Virgil’s Steakhouse, which was located just West of the Landmark and which had suffered a fire.
The completed restaurant opened its doors in 1978 and consisted of a large dining area, a plush lounge with a large fireplace, and a multi-purpose room with a dance floor and stage that was often used for dinner theater or special events.
The Landmark Restaurant was destroyed by fire in 1981 and Mr. Shaieb replaced the restaurant in 1985 with what is now known as the Landmark Plaza. In 1989, Pam Anderson began waitressing at the Landmark Cafe’, and in 1992 she became the proud owner of the restaurant and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, the Landmark Café continues to be a popular gathering place for local residents, military personnel and visitors.
(Information courtesy of Sierra Vista Historical Society)