For couple, a big bite of Santa Fe restaurant scene

The New Mexican
By Bruce Krasnow
July 12, 2017

Jennifer Day and executive chef of New Mexico Fine Dining. Photo credits Luis Sánchez Saturno.

A Santa Fe couple who own vacation rentals, car dealerships and furniture stores has purchased four local restaurants with the promise of reopening two that are now closed and tripling their Santa Fe workforce by next year.

Jim and Jennifer Day are now the owners of Georgia and Bouche, as well as the closed Bobcat Bite and a restaurant space at 227 Galisteo St. that was home to Galisteo Bistro but will reopen under the Italian name “A Mano.”

The couple recently lived in San Antonio, Texas, but has owned a home in Santa Fe for 16 years and lived here full time for nine years. Jennifer Day is an interior designer and fiber artist. Jim Day is a competitive bicycle rider who graduated with a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas.

Together they own several car dealerships in Texas as well as 50 Aaron’s furniture franchises in 10 states. They also own the Escondido Ranch in Central New Mexico, which will be the primary source of grass-fed beef sold at their Santa Fe restaurants.

Jennifer Day said the couple, whose son will attend Santa Fe High School in the fall, is used to juggling lots of business ventures — and they have more than 500 employees total.

They are also familiar with Santa Fe customs and last year lost a dispute with the city and the Historic Districts Review Board after asking to keep a coat of green stucco applied to their home on Camino Cruz Blanca near St. John’s College without a permit.

Jennifer Day said they like the idea of investing in the Santa Fe restaurants because she and Charles Dale, the executive chef, want to bring new concepts to Santa Fe menus.

She said her husband was bicycling past the old Bobcat Bite on Old Las Vegas Highway near Eldorado when the “for sale” sign went up on the 100-acre property. He came home and told her he wanted to try to buy the property and reopen what had been a popular eatery.

Read the New Mexican’s full article at “For couple, a big bite of the Santa Fe restaurant scene.