Road News

Albuquerque's Town House Closes

Albuquerque, New Mexico’s restaurant with its conspicuous brown and white bovine on top, has closed its doors for good. The Town House restaurant has been an institution on old Route 66 (now Central Avenue) since 1963 and was called just The Town House by locals.

The steakhouse and cocktail lounge has had two addresses. The first location was at 3911 Central NE, in what later became the city’s Nob Hill district. Owned and operated by the George Argyres family, it was here the business made its reputation with Greek food and prime rib. The property actually goes back as early as 1941 when it hosted Blair’s Drive-in. In 1950, the Town House name appeared for the first time for its multiple businesses of cafe, cocktail lounge and liquor store.

The Town House Lounge and Restaurant called it quits in 2007 due to a lease problem coupled with the death of a family member. Five years later, in early 2012, the family reopened the eatery at a new location about three miles to the east, at 9018 Central SE. It still had that giant plastic steer on top. While the place sported a slight name change to the Town House Dining Room, the menu stayed about the same.

The Town House’s final end came after Constantine Argyres, who was running it at the time, closed it down in November 2018 due to poor health and with plans to retire. Sadly, one week after its closing, he passed away on November 12.

The future of the building is uncertain and the Argyres family has offered it up for lease.

Courtesy KeIth Kofford

Town House Restaurant

Special Events at the Tucumcari, NM Historical Museum 50th Anniversary

April 13th - Afternoon and evening events highlighting pre-historic, Native American, and Spanish Colonial themes. Speakers, vendors, traditional Indian fry bread, dinosaur  fossils, and children activities.  Watch for smoke signals on the horizon!

June 1st - All day anniversary celebration with a western theme. Biscuits and gravy chuckwagon breakfast, old west re-enactors, bicycle rodeo, cowboys and horses displays, camp fire lunch, kids activities, Cowboy Poetry readings, and a BBQ supper with a country dance afterwards.  Watch for smoke signals on the horizon!

July 20th - Free museum day to honor Route 66 and the Railroad. Afternoon activities to include drawings for out of state visitors, a Poker Run, Speakers, kids events, and special tours!

August 10th - Patriotic America Day to honor Veterans, the Military, Police, and Firefighters.  Afternoon events with Speakers, Drill Teams, Civil War re-enactors, and a 'Fly By'.

Stop by to help us celebrate the full range of history our museum showcases in a warm and friendly atmosphere.  Call for specific times and more information. 575-461-4201.

Cactus RV Sign

Cactus Has Closed

The three-acre Cactus Motor Lodge & RV Park, 1316 East Tucumcari Boulevard (old Route 66), is vacant; it’s familiar green 1950s sign was removed in late October 2018. Having been established before World War II, it was one of the few early businesses remaining in Tucumcari, New Mexico,

I.E. and Edna Perry built the twenty-five unit, three-wing tourist lodge in 1941. Constructed in the Pueblo revival-style with a stucco exterior, the U-shaped complex was remodeled with fake stone on the outside in 1952. One building that in its early days was purportedly a dance hall, and possibly even a gambling den, became the manager’s office and residence in modern times. The original office was located in the west wing but was turned into a lodging unit in the early 1950s.

Located right on Route 66, the motor lodge fell on difficult financial times in the 1980s after that highway was decertified and the town bypassed by Interstate 40. In that period, the motel’s swimming pool, children’s playground, and landscaped grounds were removed or filled in.

In the 1990s, the motel units were closed and owners, Andy and Sue Patel, turned the courtyard into an RV park.

Anticipating retirement, the Patels had been working toward selling the complex. On October 25th, Albuquerque’s SignArt outdoor sign company lifted the Cactus’s main sign off its concrete base for an Albuquerque collector who had purchased it for several thousand dollars.

The Cactus had been nominated and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

Courtesy Keith Kofford