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: