In 1919 Ed Tovrea rode into the small town of Phoenix and began a packinghouse near 48th Street and Van Buren to support his growing beef operations. At this site, by the early 1950s, the Tovrea Land & Cattle Company owned 200 acres of cattle pens, holding at times over 40,000 head of cattle. It was the largest cattle feedlot in the world.
When a new administrative building was built in 1947 for the cattle company, it included Arizona’s original steakhouse, The Stockyards Restaurant. It soon became the favorite eating spot for cattlemen, bankers and politicians of Arizona. Historic lore tells that John Wayne once ate here and for certain did Arizona great Barry Goldwater.
The old restaurant was renovated in 2005 and when it reopened it kept its Old West charm and famous steaks. The historic building is now on the City of Phoenix Historic Register for its unique architectural style.
The Stockyards has three dining rooms: the Cattleman’s Room, the Gold Coast Room and the Rose Room, with vintage rose-colored booths. The walls are adorned with murals painted in 1954 and antique lighting fixtures hang throughout the building.
The 5Cs of Arizona theme is carried out with Cattle (beef) and Citrus being served, a huge Copper door that is highly polished to reflect the sunshine of Arizona’s wonderful Climate, and many a modern cowboy enters wearing a shirt made of Cotton.
The 1889 Saloon has a massive hand-carved cherry, mahogany bar with an 1887 player piano. It represents both the Gay 1890s and the rich cattle baron lifestyle of Edward A. Tovrea. Original murals by artists Katherine Patton decorate the walls of the 1889 Saloon as well as the walls of the Rose Room.
So when you get out and are looking for the best steaks in Phoenix, remember The Stockyards Restaurant and 1889 Saloon. Great food and great Arizona history all found under one roof!
The Stockyards Restaurant is located at 5009 East Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona. For more information about The Stockyards Restaurant and 1889 Saloon visit their web site: http://www.stockyardsrestaurant.com/.