When The Bull Ring of Santa Fe won the first of its many Golden Bowl Awards (An award begun in 2000 by The Santa Fe New Mexican daily newspaper ) for the “best Steak In Santa Fe” it marked one more step in a journey that restaurant owner Harry Georgeades began in 1995.
For almost four decades previously, The Bull Ring had built its reputation as the most popular dining and gathering spot for state and local political figures; as the place where conversations of business, art, local events, politics, sporting news, or the “theme-of-the-day” are equally at home. But, it really didn’t have an identity as a restaurant.
Nestled in a 150 year old adobe compound, The Bull Ring was located right next door to the state Capitol and relied heavily in its location and clientele to ensure its place in the highly competitive Santa Fe dining scene.
In 1995, Georgeades changed all that.
First, he decided to move. More importantly, the eclectic menu that had been the staple of the lunch and dinner menus for so long was going to change. The new Bull Ring was going to be about … beef. USDA prime. Corn fed. Hand cut daily. The best available anywhere. Beef.
“While we had great success in upgrading the menu and quality of our food at the old location, we also knew that there wasn’t a real focus to our food offerings or something that set us apart from the other fine restaurants in Santa Fe,” Georgeades says.
“My instincts were to concentrate on the finest beef and make sure Santa Feans knew what we had to offer.”
His instincts have proven to be good ones. The accumulation of outstanding newspaper and magazine reviews, awards, voting by the Santa Fe public in yearly polls, and the continuing increase in business tell the story that Harry headed in the right direction.
The location (The Bull Ring is now located in the courtyard of a downtown office building just a block from the Plaza) might lead many to believe that visitors to Santa Fe make up a substantial portion of the clientele, but that isn’t the case. Though The Bull Ring enjoys an excellent national reputation and is constantly recommended by local hotels and visitor facilities, the bulwark of its business still comes from Santa Feans.
“We lost virtually none of our previous ‘the-place-to-meet‘ reputation and added the special
aspect of ‘the-place-for-beef‘,” Georgeades notes.
Actually, the menu offerings include special dishes of chicken, chops, and fresh fish, but there is no doubt The Bull Ring wants to be know for its USDA prime, and it does it clearly. Whether it’s the still famous lunch Bullburger or any of the dinner entrees, Harry has made a commitment that is attracting Santa Feans and visitors in record — and increasing — numbers.
Georgeades has now owned The Bull Ring for over 26 years. Changing locations, after so many years in the same place was an interesting risk.
“There were certainly business considerations in the decision, but I knew if we could create the kind of identity in the food and menu area that I wanted, then other things would follow,” Georgeades says.
The Bull Ring features indoor and outdoor dining areas and a bar separated from the main dining area that give a variety of light and surroundings similar to the original classic adobe. The Santa Fe hospitality that made patrons feel they’d been especially invited is more than preserved, it’s enhanced by the convenience and continuing attention of the servers.
Eleven years into its new home now, no one in Santa Fe ever has to ask…”where’s the beef.”
It’s at The Bull Ring.
The Bull Ring of Santa Fe
Harry Georgeades – Owner
In the Courtyard of the New Mexico Bank & Trust
150 Washington Ave (one block north of The Plaza)
Lunch Tuesday-Friday 11:30a.m. – 2:30p.m.
Dinner Monday thru Sunday – 4:00p.m. till 10:00p.m.