Buckhorn's Story

Welcome to the Buckhorn Tavern! We are a small-town family with deep ties to the area. We love good food and enjoy spending time with family and friends… what better place to do that than here. Whether you joined us for the first time, or have been a Buckhorn Tavern regular for decades, we are happy to have you walk through our doors. 

With a passion for cooking and a true love of community, Ernie and Stephanie Sichler embarked on a new adventure with their daughter, Morgen, when they bought the Buckhorn Tavern in 2019. Having a 76-year standing in the community, their desire to #savethebuckhorn came at the perfect time as longtime owner Bobby Olguin decided to sell. It also brought the Sichlers back to a community where they have longstanding ties. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the Buckhorn Tavern… a place where everyone who walks through the door is family and every bite you take is delicious.

​The original business goes back to 1918 with Miguel Olguin. Coal was big in Socorro County at that time, with mines from San Pedro to Tokay. Miguel worked in the coal mines and had a business right across the street from Conrad Hilton’s first hotel on Highway 1.​ Miguel's son, Manuel “Manny” Olguin, inherited the liquor license and the business, in 1945.

 

Manny moved the Buckhorn into its current location in 1943, it was known as a burger, gas station, haircuts and pool table place.​ Impromptu boxing matches were also part of the Buckhorn’s illustrious history. Manny Olguin had been a boxer in the army, and he would sometimes shut the doors and have challenge boxing in the back.  

After the war, there was a lot of business from soldiers from Stallion (White Sands). In July 1945, these soldiers and Los Alamos scientists successfully exploded the first atomic bomb at the Trinity test site. The explosion was a part of a little known project called the “The Manhattan Project.”

The original name of the Buckhorn Tavern has always been the same, Manny wanted his name on the building, so it became Manny’s Buckhorn Tavern. To this day people come in and order a Manny’s Burger, chile cheeseburger. His son Bobby Olguin inherited the business in 1998 and changed the name back to the Buckhorn Tavern. 

The green chile cheeseburgers at the Buckhorn achieved widespread fame in the late 2000s. Buckhorn Tavern’s burger was rated No. 7 Burger in America by GQ Magazine in 2005 and No. 3 “Baddest Burger in the Land” by the Nightlife Flavor Roundup on the Marlboro.com website.

The Buckhorn has been featured in New Mexico Magazine, Sunset Magazine and as No. 1 Burger in the West by Saveur Magazine, and also in Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay lost his Throwdown With Bobby Flay at the Buckhorn Tavern in 2009. The cable show gave the Buckhorn nationwide exposure, and the restaurant has seen its best business ever. In honor of the event, New Mexico’s then Governor Bill Richardson, declared July 24 as New Mexico Buckhorn Tavern Day, proclaiming that the state’s revenue in green chile sales was way up for the year. 

New Mexico Magazine featured the Buckhorn Tavern twice and it was featured in the New Mexico’s Tourism Department’s Green Chile Burger trail. In 2013, Yahoo published Sunset's Top 20 Roadtrip Stops and the Buckhorn was the first one listed. As well, as the only burger mentioned. USA Today did a feature write up on the Buckhorn. It started out... ‘In the middle of New Mexico, in the middle of the desert, in a dirt parking lot...’ We think that is a great way to describe the feeling you get when you drive up to our old adobe. 

Bobby Olguin shut down the historic Buckhorn Tavern wanting to slow down after a bout with cancer. When we, Ernie and Stephanie Sichler, heard the Buckhorn Tavern was closing we knew our next adventure was about to start. We met with Bobby and hashed out a plan to save the Buckhorn.

We are no out-of-towners looking for some small-town diner charm. Ernie was born and raised in San Antonio and the extended Sichler family has deep roots in San Antonio with green chile. 

The name and location has changed over the years, and there is a new family running the day to day operations but the recipes have remained unchanged since 1943.

Ernie, Stephanie, and Morgen

US

The Day we agreed to purchase the Buckhorn!

Doña Ana Mountains- a natural arch

At Sichler/Trevino wedding in San Antonio, NM

Harley and Bailey waiting for a Jeep ride

Photo Credit: Brittany Miller

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument 7 months Pregnant with Morgen

Slot Canyon hike north of Radium Springs, NM

Picking fresh Green Chile on Craig Sichler's farm

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