The California Beef Council has announced that A.J. Spurs' four locations in Buellton, Templeton, Grover Beach and Marina have been recognized as the recipient of the 2006 California Beef Backer Award. The California Beef Backer Award was established in 2000 and recognizes restaurants that promote beef and the beef industry through innovative menus, promotions, and delicious beef entrées that draw customers' back time after time. Steve Medlen's House of Beef, located in Oakdale, has also been recognized with runner-up honors in this year's contest.
To compete in the California Beef Backer contest, a restaurant has to be nominated by a California beef producer. Bill Whitney, a cattle producer from Greenfield, nominated A.J. Spurs. A committee of beef industry leaders reviewed the 2006 entries and based their selection of A.J. Spurs on the restaurant's beef promotion programs, beef menu applications and overall quality. The first place and runner-up restaurants will be recognized during the California Beef Council's Annual Meeting in November and will receive cash prizes to be used toward future beef purchases.
Alan Grimley, Jay Walsh and J.G. King opened the original A.J. Spurs in Templeton in 1989. The restaurant was so successful that the trio opened additional locations in subsequent years. King eventually bought out his partners to become the sole owner of the restaurants. In the summer of 2006, J.G. King sold three of the locations to Milt Guggia Enterprises, Santa Maria, however King continues to own and operate the Marina location.
Known for the quality and consistency of their beef, A.J. Spurs has employed full-time meat cutters to help ensure a superior beef eating experience for all of its customers.
"A.J. Spurs has been nominated for the Beef Backer Award for several years, which is a testament to their enduring commitment to promoting beef and the California beef industry," said Bill Jackson, a California cattle producer and chair of the California Beef Council. "This program was established to reward those restaurants that go the extra mile to give their customers a great beef eating experience and A.J. Spurs exemplifies that philosophy."
Past winners of the California Beef Backer Award include Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant, Coalinga; Cattlemen's Steakhouses in northern California; Far Western Tavern in Guadalupe; F. McLintocks Saloon & Dining House four Central Coast locations; The Branding Iron in Merced and Buckhorn Steak & Roadhouse in Winters.
October is also Beef Month and the California Beef Council is sponsoring a month-long Beef Backer promotional program. A.J. Spurs, as well as all of the past Beef Backer award-winning restaurant locations will be taking part in a month-long "Beef. It's What's For … Free." promotion. Now, through October 28, any guest that visits one of the past Beef Backer winners' locations can enter to win a free beef meal.
Other restaurants receiving special recognition in the 2006 California Beef Backer contest were:
Feed & Fuel two locations, Woodbridge and Clements Coyote Bar & Grill, Graeagle.
El Rancho Inn, Stockton Fermin's Steakhouse, Sanger.
The Inn at Tres PinÞos, Tres PinÞos Jocko's Steak House, Nipomo.
Jonesy's Famous Steak House, Napa The Loading Chute, Creston.
The Restaurant at Mission Ranch, Carmel Vic's Branding Iron Restaurant, Cottonwood.
The Vineyard Restaurant & Bar, Madera.