The Owl makes annual Christmas gift to charity - Albuquerque Journal

The Owl makes annual Christmas gift to charity

Since junior high school, Ricardo Beltran has been cooking up food for the San Antonio community at the Owl Cafe. Here he is helping take down the dollars posted on the wall. Money goes towards children’s charities such as St. Jude’s and Make-A-Wish. (Greg Byrd/El Defensor Chieftain)

Dozens and dozens of ones, fives, and tens tacked on the wall of the famous Owl Bar and Café by locals and tourists throughout the year were taken down and counted in the restaurant’s annual ritual last week.

Janice Argabright, who now operates the restaurant after taking over from her mother, Rowena Baca, a couple of years ago, said when all the bills were counted up, there was $1,757 this year.

“It was a good year,” Argabright said. “It feels so good to give back to the community.”

Now the money will be divvied up to various charities, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shriners’ Hospital for Children, Carrie Tingley Hospital, New Mexico Vietnam Veterans, APAS, the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch and Alzheimer’s research.

Judging by the notes pinned to the bills one could learn a little about geography and the world. Visitors seeking out a green chile cheeseburger at the Owl came from all four corners of the compass and nearly every continent. Not to mention most of the 50 states, from Alaska to Florida.

The Owl has raised well over $33,000 since the yearly tradition was started by her parents at the famous San Antonio eatery 19 years ago.

But the Owl and its famous burgers go back much farther than that. It is believed Agrabright’s grandfather, Frank Chavez, invented the green chile cheeseburger, starting out with a bottle of Picante sauce on the table and adding green chile shortly thereafter.

Beloved by many, its recipe has remained the same since 1945.

That was 76 years ago, and the Owl Bar and Café continues to win awards for its green chile cheeseburger and its commitment to give back to the community, something that Argabright is proud to be a part of.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Hostages safe after standoff inside Texas synagogue
ABQnews Seeker
Hostages who had been held for ... Hostages who had been held for hours inside a Texas synagogue were rescued Saturday night, according to Gov. Greg Abbott, nearly 12 hours after ...
2
New ABQ lifestyle shop aims to offer Old Town ...
ABQnews Seeker
Retailer focuses on providing customers with ... Retailer focuses on providing customers with items ranging from small-batch printed cards to jewelry to beauty products made with New Mexican ingredients
3
Top Workplaces program is still accepting nominations
ABQnews Seeker
Research firm will recognize best workplaces ... Research firm will recognize best workplaces in the state
4
Borderplex statistics show major economic activity
ABQnews Seeker
Statistics by the Dallas Fed and ... Statistics by the Dallas Fed and CBP indicate what a major center of activity for trade, production and commerce the Borderplex region has become.
5
NM car wash company acquired by national chain
ABQnews Seeker
Champion Xpress Carwash, a national car ... Champion Xpress Carwash, a national car washing chain, has acquired locally owned company Rain Tunnel Car Spa.
6
‘Long COVID’ spurring legal questions for employers
ABQnews Seeker
Part of the unfolding tragedy of ... Part of the unfolding tragedy of long COVID is that it could render a previously qualified person unqualified.
7
Adelina 'Nina' Otero-Warren put in her two bits' worth ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico native is depicted on ... New Mexico native is depicted on newly minted series of quarters
8
APS cyberattack latest in a series targeting schools
ABQnews Seeker
Five districts in NM faced similar ... Five districts in NM faced similar intrusions over the past two years
9
NM awash in near-record COVID-19 cases
ABQnews Seeker
State is one of six with ... State is one of six with high case counts set to receive help from military medical teams