Route 66 News

Original Bobcat Bite on Old Las Vegas Highway in Sante Fe to reopen in May

The original Bobcat Bite restaurant along Old Las Vegas Highway (aka Route 66) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is scheduled to reopen in May after closing about eight years ago.

The Bobcat Bite, which opened in 1953, became well-known over the years for its green chile cheeseburger.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican:

The new Bobcat Bite is under the ownership of NM Fine Dining LLC, the same folks who own Bouche Bistro, Trattoria a Mano and Lucky Goat and previously owned Maize and Jimmy D’s, all in downtown Santa Fe.
Jennifer and Jimmy Day bought the Bobcat Bite property and surrounding 100 acres in 2017, the same year they acquired Maize and started their restaurant group in Santa Fe. They closed Bouche, Trattoria a Mano and Lucky Goat at the start of the pandemic and have never reopened them because the restaurants were too small for 25 percent dining and they opted not to do takeout. […}
“The only thing I have a comment on is we are going to be opening Bobcat Bite at the beginning of May,” Jennifer Day said. “I have no comment on the other restaurants at this time.” […]
The Days started with a 25-seat mom and pop structure. The new Bobcat Bite will seat 56 inside and 50 outside on a patio that was added.
Carney describes the remodeled interior as “warm and friendly” with low ceilings, wood beams and ceramic tile floors that look like wood.

Greg Carey, vice president of restaurant operations at NM Fine Dining, said they are exploring opening other Bobcat Bite restaurants across the country.

After a dispute with the landlord, previous Bobcat Bite operators John and Bonnie Eckre moved to a space in the Garrett’s Desert Inn near the Santa Fe Plaza and called it Santa Fe Bite. Another Santa Fe Bite opened along Route 66 in Albuquerque the next year.

The Bobcat Bite’s signature dish was so esteemed, Hamburger America featured the restaurant in 2011.

A taste of what it was like when it still was operating:

Green chile cheeseburgers remain a quintessential dish in New Mexico. So many restaurants serve it in the Land of Enchantment, the state’s tourism bureau put together a Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.

(Image of the Bobcat Bite in 2007 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Thomas Kriese via Flickr)

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