Cowtown Landmarks

History and fun facts about the landmark icons on the Cowtown properties and farm.


Part 2: The Cowtown Steakhouse




8 Facts about the Steakhouse:


8)  The building originally opened as a Sinclair Gas Station by Stoney Harris, Grant's Grandfather.  The Cowtown Service Station also had a repair shop and tire store.  After awhile, Stoney added a showroom, selling International Automobiles and then CASE Tractors.  The Restaurant part would come last.


7)  Here is one of our Cowtown tow trucks that was part of the Service Station.  And that phone number on the side of the truck?  We had the 9th telephone line in Woodstown when they first installed rural lines in about 1904.  We still use that number today.


6)  The Steakhouse/Service Station once housed a Post Office.  In the mid 1970's Betsy Harris can remember sorting the mail as one of her first jobs when she started working at Cowtown as a newlywed with Grant.


5)  Grant remembers every Sunday patrons would come dressed in their Sunday best, linen tablecloths would be on all the tables and there would be an organ player in the corner entertaining the guests while eating.  Grant's favorite meal?  Simple:  a 10/12 oz Ribeye steak, french fries and applesauce.  He'd order it every time.


4)  The Steakhouse had a specially designed "Children's Lounge" with cowboy themed food ($1.00 kids meals) and play attractions.  It was a fun place to play and eat while Mom and Dad got a break to eat their own supper.


3)  How does $1.75 for a Red Cow Special sound?  That bargain included a chopped beef, appetizer, potato, vegetable, salad, bread, drink and dessert!  After calculating inflation, that translates to approximately $15.00 in today's dollars - still a bargain.  Check out some of the other prices you'd pay for a meal at Cowtown:


2)  Thursday, November 28, 1985, Thanksgiving morning.  A grease fire that originated in the kitchen ignited the 4 am blaze that destroyed the Cowtown Steakhouse.  The Lively Family operated the business at that time.  The establishment was open 24-hours a day and there were only a few employees and one customer inside when the fire started.  No one was hurt in the fire but the building was beyond repair and torn down.  Luckily, the fire did not spread to the adjacent buildings.  Today, the asphalt that lies over top the footprints of the Steakhouse provides space for our Farmers Market vendors.  The smaller red 2-story building to the right of the Steakhouse still stands today and is the Cowtown Business Office.


1)  One of the only items salvaged from the Thanksgiving Day fire was this Stoney Harris poster, circa 1931.  It was rolled up in the attic and discovered, completely unscathed.  Today it is framed and hangs in the Cowtown Business Office which is located just inches away from the old Steakhouse location.


We hope this sparked a bit of nostalgia for those who have been around Cowtown for a long time.  Don't miss the other articles about the Cowtown Landmarks.  The Cowboy feature can be found here and even more will be posted in the coming weeks.  Up next is the Cow Statue - and we'll put to rest any questions about why his head is facing West!