Route 66 News

Bobcat Bite restaurant will close, may reopen elsewhere

The Bobcat Bite, a historic restaurant along an old alignment of Route 66 on the southern edge of Santa Fe, N.M., will close June 9 because of a dispute with the owners, reported the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper.

The Bobcat’s operators hope to reopen in another location in Santa Fe, although where hasn’t been determined.

But as of June 9, the Eckres will leave the Bobcat Bite. The couple said in a written statement that they are vacating the Old Las Vegas Vegas Highway location “at the demand of the building’s owners, the Panzer family,” and hope to open a restaurant somewhere else in Santa Fe soon. The eatery will close for a period, and likely be reopened under new management.

“This ending is bittersweet,” Bonnie Eckre said in the statement. “We’re sorry to inconvenience all of our loyal customers, the people we’ve come to know like family over the years.”

The Eckres reportedly were surprised to find that not only did the Panzer family own the land where Bobcat Bite sits, but the restaurant as well. Apparently the Panzers will find new operators for the Bobcat Bite, according to the Santa Fe Reporter:

“It’s possible the landlord will bring someone else in (to takeover Bobcat Bite),” John Eckre tells SFR. “We’re not sure who that might be or when that might be. We’re really disappointed it has to be that way.”

But the Eckres sound determined to serve their famous green chile cheeseburgers wherever they end up — preferably downtown.

The Bobcat Bite serves one of the five best hamburgers I’ve had on Route 66. The signature dish is so esteemed, Hamburger America featured the restaurant in 2011:

(Hat tip: Route 66 Alliance; image of Bobcat Bite by Umpqua)




4 thoughts on “Bobcat Bite restaurant will close, may reopen elsewhere

  1. steve sumpter

    I wish we had visited. Bobcat bite on our recent trip through NM

    OK Ron, I will take your bait, where are your other top four burger joints on route 66?

    1. Ron Warnick Post author

      — Bobcat Bite
      — Hank’s Hamburgers in Tulsa
      — Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, Ill.
      — Anchor Inn in Bristow, Oklahoma.
      — Snow Cap Drive-In, Seligman, Ariz.

      Haven’t been to Irv’s yet in Los Angeles, although I greatly admired In-N-Out last year at a non-66 location on Highway 1 in California.

  2. mart53

    I am sure the Eckres’ paid a pretty penny for the restaurant. Why does the Panzer family want to ruin a good thing? Greediness gets you nowhere. Karma…

  3. David Rivanis

    I’m in the restaurant business, and I know for a fact the people who order the supplies, manage the staff, prepare, cook, and serve the menu, welcome the customers, make payroll, pay rent, clean and repair the equipment, those are the people that make or break a restaurant. They do all of this and more everyday. I’l repeat that. EVERYDAY!
    The Eckres in my opinion are the real owners because they have been doing the work of owners for over a decade. During that time when did the Panzer family play more than just the role of a landlord?
    Is this how it works in this country of ours? Work hard to make the one of the best burgers in America, then someone else gets to take the credit. Will that be the Panzer family legacy?
    Remember Panzer’s, word of mouth is everything in the restaurant business.
    Where ever the Eckres choose to open folks, I believe is where you will find the best burger in America!

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