New Mexico History Museum

History Museum’s Cafe Re-opens

July 18, 2011


Someone’s In the Kitchen, a longtime Santa Fe catering company, has begun serving light breakfasts and lunches in the New Mexico History Museum’s Cowden Café. Richard Derwostyp (“Just call me Richard”) has owned and operated Someone’s in the Kitchen for 20 years.

“It’s going to be simple salads, sandwiches,” he said of the Cowden Café fare. “Some of them won’t be that simple, and some will have a Southwestern edge.”

Typical lunch offerings might include gazpacho, smoked-turkey-and-pepper-jack cheese sandwiches, and salads like a Southwest Caesar; spinach with apples, Maytag blue cheese and pecans; and a chef salad. Service will be casual, with orders taken at the counter. With a minimum of two days’ advance notice, the café can prepare sack lunches for groups of visitors. The number to call for group orders is 505-424-8209.

The café is open from 10 am to 4:30 pm Tuesday through Sunday, with lunches from 11:30 am to 3 pm, and drinks, cookies and pastries until 4:30 pm. Lunches will cost $7-$13, and Richard will also have a variety of non-alcoholic beverages and breakfast pastries. Diners don’t need to pay museum admission, unless they’d also like to wander the exhibits. Besides good food and a great view of downtown Santa Fe from its balcony patio, the café has free wireless.

Set on the museum’s second floor, the cafe closed April 1 when its previous operators, the owners of the Plaza Restaurant, decided to focus on repairing their fire-damaged restaurant. A request for proposals was issued for another operator and resulted in a contract for Someone’s In the Kitchen through October, giving Derwostyp an opportunity to see how well his current operation adjusts to the space.

“Richard was the most responsive in trying to work with us and our needs,” said Dr. Frances Levine, director of the museum.

The café is named for the Cowden family who, from 1883 to 1915, ran the JAL Ranch (for which the southeastern town of Jal is named). The JAL was the open-range home to 40,000 head of cattle and a part of New Mexico history that included the likes of Oliver Loving, Charles Goodnight, skirmishes with Comanches, and tales of gutting out the pioneer life in dugouts and covered wagons. At its peak, the JAL occupied much of what is now Lea County, east and south into Texas.

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