The Tack Room was a fine dining restaurant in Tucson from 1965 to May 2003. Established largely by the Vactor family, the restaurant was located at 7300 East Vactor Ranch Trail, off North Sabino Canyon Road. The property first functioned as the Rancho Del Rio dude ranch but the ranch closed allowing the Vactor family to focus on the restaurant in 1965. When The Tack Room opened it was the most expensive eating establishment in Arizona. Rather than displaying conventional signage, the restaurant was advertised with a 16-foot tall concrete boot, created by Michael Kautza, that became an iconic symbol of not only the restaurant but also of Tucson.
In its heyday, the Tack Room won fame by becoming the first Mobil Travel Guide Five Star winner in the Southwest. The Tack Room received the Five Star Award from 1977 to 1996. Read more about the Tack Room in Lost Restaurants of Tucson by Rita Connelly.
In September, 2005, the Tack Room building was demolished and the property subdivided for development and building of new homes. The building materials and fixtures were auctioned off to benefit Habitat for Humanity. The concrete boot now marks the entrance to the Vactor Ranch neighborhood. Vactor Ranch Community Association photo gallery provides some historical photos online.
Michael Kautza also designed the giant cow skull building in Amado (Cow Palace) and the large wine bottle located at 3306 North First Avenue in Tucson.
"Changing times give Tack Room the boot." Arizona Daily Star. April 24, 2003, Page 1.
"Everything but the boot." Arizona Daily Star. September 27, 2005. Page D1.
“Gigantic wine bottle brings fame, fortune to Boondocks tavern.” Arizona Daily Star. June 15, 2009. Page. A10.
"Metro eateries going casual at 2 new locations." Tucson Citizen. April 25, 2003, Page B1.
"Tucson Oddity: Big boot once heralded tony restaurant." Arizona Daily Star. April 23, 2012.
"Alma Vactor, matriarch of Rancho Del Rio, the Tack Room and Vactor Ranch. Inside Tucson Business. January 4, 2013.
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