Arizona July 31, 2016
The Oldest Restaurant In Arizona Has A Truly Incredible History
During Arizona’s frontier days, restaurants typically came in the form of saloons and those often lasted as long as a town’s heyday. A few lucky spots around the state have managed to survive throughout the centuries but Arizona’s oldest restaurant also happens to call one of those old boomtowns its home.
The Longhorn Restaurant is located on Allen Street in Tombstone’s historic district and is known as the oldest continuously operated restaurant in the town. It was constructed in 1881 and, despite a few set backs over the years, it has remained in operation ever since. It went through name and ownership changes, such as the Bucket of Blood Saloon (no relation to the one in Holbrook). How many other Arizona restaurants do you know that can boast of such resiliency?
One of the restaurant’s most famous moments came at the end of 1881 when Virgil Earp was shot during an assassination attempt and when the building operated as the Owl Cafe and Hotel. Earp was walking down the street when shots were fired from a building under construction, which just happened to be this one. Earp managed to survive and the restaurant already gained a degree of notoriety.
Fires swept through town a few times but it wasn’t until 1942 when the building finally succumbed to flames. The building was reconstructed shortly afterwards but without the iconic second floor, which, honestly, made the building look unremarkable.
With this new ownership, the name was changed to the Longhorn Hotel and Restaurant, then went under new ownership once again in 1977. This time the owners decided to restore the building to its old Arizona Territorial glory. A second story was added, the hotel was nixed, and the menu was revamped to suit modern tastes.
While the food you can get here today isn't exactly what you'd expect in an 1880s establishment, they still deliver a satisfying meal with steaks, burgers, and barbeque.
Details: The Longhorn Restaurant is located at 501 East Allen Street in Tombstone. It is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Want to check out more restaurants rich in history? Read our previous article,
These 8 Old Restaurants In Arizona Have Stood The Test Of Time.