Late in 1987 a small group of New York City restaurateurs were poking about for the next new dining concept, when a couple of gals (Sherry from Texas and Pam from Colorado) came up with the idea of promoting the culture of the American Cowgirl through the foods of the American West and Southwest. Soon enough, they’d roped in a talented chef from south Texas and started gathering family recipes as well as their favorite regional road-trip recipes.
Within weeks they’d partnered up with the late Margaret Formby, the founder of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Museum in Hereford, Texas. The resulting Cowgirl Hall of Fame Restaurant opened in New York’s West Village on Valentine’s Day 1988. Success quickly followed as New Yorkers rediscovered the savory flavors of authentic barbecue and comfort food.
Not content just to ride the chilly canyons of Manhattan, one of the New York partners, Barry Secular, got the urge to move some of the “Q” to the True West and the seeds that would become the Santa Fe Cowgirl were planted. Come June of 1993, the second Cowgirl Hall of Fame Restaurant opened in a hundred-year-old building in the historic Guadalupe district of Santa Fe.
Fast forward a couple of decades later and the Cowgirl BBQ occupies almost the entire block where it started, now having added a Billiard Parlor, a commercial catering kitchen and several private party rooms. The patio is one of the most inviting summertime venues for locals and tourists alike and the Cowgirl has become a local institution.