The Owl Cafe was born in San Antonio, New Mexico, one of many New Mexican towns you zip past on the freeway, not even dots on the state road map.
The original cafe doesn’t have an owl on its roof and is a fifties style bar and grill with ancient cheap wood paneling, a bar of soap in the urinals, fly catchers dangling from roof overhangs. It peddles green chili cheeseburgers and cold beer and does so well that it’s owners built a new Owl Cafe in Albuquerque, New Mexico’s biggest city.
The Owl Cafe in Albuquerque has a menu with all the favorites; burgers, hot dogs, enchiladas, chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, shakes and soft drinks, cherry pie. There is no attempt at sprouts, kale, broccoli, vegan or low fat fare. Occasionally the restaurant parking lot is full of 1950’s car shows and neon lights on the owl come on in early summer evenings when softball games start at Los Altos Park across the street.
Presiding over the Cafe is the Owl.
Owls have a reputation for being wise. It seems, though, that they should be down the list on the bird IQ scale. When you stay up all night and live off small rodents you are not radiating intelligence.
With big rodents out west you need big owls to keep things even.
This owl never sleeps and when ambulances blast past on the Interstate, his eyes only blink.
When you are wise you aren’t surprised by anything.