The Santa Fe Café was born in 1981 of two displaced New Mexicans’ craving for chile. Brothers Steve and Greg Gibbons relocated to Seattle after college, where they soon found themselves bereft of red and green chile, the staples of New Mexican cuisine. Steve suggested the two open a restaurant. Greg thought it a good idea. After all, neither had any experience running a restaurant, so why not?
Step one was to cruise Seattle’s various neighborhoods for a likely locale. “Likely” being a closed or derelict business. After some months they found “Bimbo’s” tavern in Ravenna. A biker bar closed by the authorities- moldy pitchers of beer still on the tables. Steve wrote to the landlord, Fritz Katz, explaining who we were and what we hoped to do. He signed on, with one caveat—no tavern!
With Greg’s wife, Pam, they spent the next nine months remodeling the tavern by day, learning to cook by night. Steve would run the office, Greg would be the chef, and Pam would manage the floor. The Santa Fe Café took off in November of 1981, and hasn’t stopped running since.
As of 2008, the café is in the capable hands of Drew and Erin Bloom, who look forward to many more decades as Seattle’s source for red and green chile from the great state of New Mexico.
We are very grateful to the people of Seattle for their support. We especially appreciate our “regulars”—the best people on the planet!
Greg, Pam & Steve Gibbons
In 1985, while in my parents’ basement, I was tapped by the Reagan administration to wash dishes for the Santa Fe Cafe. And never being one to shirk my patriotic duty, I enlisted in a 25-year tour of duty with the Santa Fe Cafe. I washed the dishes, I bussed the tables, I stirred the pots of posole, and once or twice I even showered. And here I am now—2 kids and 24 years later—still holding down the fort.
You can always count on red or green chile straight from the fields of Hatch, New Mexico. And your favorite dishes as you’ve always loved them. It’s an honor to be here and a great big shout out to all our regular customers.
Enough already. Eat!