Bobcat Bite restaurant closes as owners put it up for sale | Business
The Bobcat Bite restaurant on Old Las Vegas Highway closed permanently on Sunday, less than six months after Texans Jimmy and Jennifer Day reopened the legendary restaurant.
The Days intended to restore Bobcat Bite — which closed in 2013 and was dormant until the Days relaunched it — as a Santa Fe landmark and potentially even expand the brand to other states.
But a brain injury suffered by their son in December 2020, along with the coronavirus pandemic, upended the family’s ambitions in Santa Fe. The Days never reopened their downtown restaurants Bouche Bistro, Trattoria a Mano and Lucky Goat after the initial lockdown in March 2020.
“We are definitely closed,” Jennifer Day said in a phone interview. “We didn’t tell the employees anything before [Wednesday].”
Bobcat Bite was normally closed Monday and Tuesday.
The Days moved forward as absentee owners to complete and open Bobcat Bite on August 4, leaving day-to-day operations and overall brand vision to Greg Carey, who served as vice president of restaurant operations at NM Fine. Dining, the company the Days started to own all of their Santa Fe restaurants.
“The main theme that I would like to say is this: Jimmy and Jennifer Day are no longer in the restaurant business,” Jennifer Day said. “They are helping their son rehabilitate and recover. It’s hard to run a restaurant when you’re not in the field. We work with our son. He takes precedence over everything. Our main goal is to help him walk.
The Days’ main home is in San Antonio, Texas, and their son was a high school student when the injury happened.
They acquired the Bobcat Bite property and approximately 98 acres in 2017, days after it was listed by the Panzer family, which opened Bobcat Bite in 1953. That same year, the Days launched their mobile restaurant party, with six restaurants opening and closing depending on local and global circumstances.
“We’ve run out of everything,” Jennifer Day said. “It was fun. We had some great restaurants. Taking care of your family is more important than taking care of other things.
The Days kept Bobcat Bite’s original dining room with a low viga ceiling, but added another dining room, outdoor patio, and take-out window.
The Days lived in Santa Fe for 20 years, assembling a three-house property on Camino de Cruz Blanca near St. John’s College. They put two houses on the market in June. A 3,959 square foot three-bedroom home has been sold and the 6,743 square foot six-bedroom home they lived in for 14 years remains on the market for $3.995 million.
They owned the Bouche Bistro and Lucky Goat properties, which they sold to the owners of Mille and La Tour Experience, respectively, the two French restaurants that opened last month. They still hold the lease of Trattoria a Mano, which is for sale, along with all of the restaurant’s equipment, for $95,000, said Michael Greene, president of Santa Fe business brokerage Sam Goldenberg & Associates.
Greene also took possession of the 3.5-acre Bobcat Bite property and business on Wednesday, which will be for sale for $95,000 or lease, he said.
“It’s an opportunity to walk into a restaurant,” Greene said. “I think what’s going to happen with Bobcat is somebody’s going to lease it. I think I can lease it with the equipment and the name.
Jennifer Day said she wanted to sell about 12 more acres at Bobcat Bite along with a house and a hacienda. The Days plan to keep 80 acres undeveloped.