California Central Coast restaurant recognized as the 2009 California Beef Backer Award winner

Oct 9, 2009
by WLJ
California Central Coast restaurant recognized as the 2009 California Beef Backer Award winner

The California Beef Council (CBC) announced last Tuesday that Jocko’s Steak House in Nipomo, CA, has been recognized as the recipient of the 2009 California Beef Backer Award.

More than 100 cattle ranchers, local dignitaries, family and friends of Jocko’s Steak House gathered to recognize the restaurant for their support of the beef industry.

Established in 2000, the California Beef Backer Award recognizes restaurants that promote beef and the beef industry through innovative menuing, promotions, and delicious beef entrées that draw customers back time after time. Approximately half of the beef sold in the U.S. is marketed through foodservice establishments; therefore, it is important that customers have a positive beef eating experience when dining out. CBC believes in acknowledging restaurants that demonstrate commitment to outstanding beef marketing and menuing.

The history of Jocko’s Steak House can be traced back to 1886 when Emery Knotts opened a saloon on Tefft Street in Nipomo where Emery’s son Ralph “Jocko” Knotts also operated a similar business called Jocko’s Cage in 1925. The current Jocko’s Steak House location was opened in 1957 by Ralph “Jocko’s” sons Fred and George Knotts. The restaurant has since been a favorite dining spot among locals and visitors because of their delicious steaks and friendly staff. The restaurant is now operated by the late Fred’s wife, Sandy, and their son Mike who carry on the tradition and the name that has brought a modernday fame to Nipomo.

“Jocko’s has been nominated for the California Beef Backer Award for several years, which is a testament to their enduring commitment to promoting beef and the California beef industry,” states Rob von der Lieth, a California cattle rancher and chair of CBC. “The Knotts family serves delicious beef entrées in a Western setting that draws customers back time after time.”

To compete in the California Beef Backer Award contest, a restaurant has to be nominated by a California beef rancher. A committee of beef industry leaders reviews the contest entries and bases their selection on the restaurants’ beef promotion programs, beef menu applications, and overall quality.

Ernest E. Righetti, Darlene and Jean Rotta, and The Stockman’s Market, Inc., each nominated Jocko’s Steak House for the award and were recognized during last week’s award presentation.

Runner-up honors in this year’s California Beef Backer Award contest went to Double LL Steak House & Saloon in Visalia. Both Jocko’s Steak House and Double LL Steak House & Saloon received monetary awards to use toward future beef purchases.

Also receiving special recognition in this year’s California Beef Backer Award contest were Billingsleys Main Street Grill Inc., San Luis Obispo; Brand-N Iron Family Steakhouse, Yreka; Bud’s Pub & Grill and Ca tering,

Dixon; Cool Hand Luke’s Steakhouse and Saloon, Riverbank; Diamond Back Grill, Sonora; Mill Creek Cattle Company Steakhouse and Saloon, Mentone; Monkey Cat, Auburn; Mt. Tomba Inn, Cromberg; Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse, Paso Robles; Pasquini’s, Live Oak; The Elbow Room, Fresno; Vic’s Branding Iron, Cottonwood; and Yosemite Ranch, Fresno.

Past winners of the California Beef Backer Award include Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant, Coalinga; Cattlemens Restaurant chain in northern California; Far Western Tavern, Guadalupe; F. McLintocks Saloon & Dining House four Central Coast locations; The Branding Iron Restaurant, Merced; Buckhorn Steak and Roadhouse, Winters; A.J. Spurs Saloon & Dining Hall four Central Coast locations; Alex Madonna’s Gold Rush Steak House at the Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo; and The Hitching Post I and II, Casmalia and Buellton. For more information about the California Beef Backer Award program, visit— WLJ