Santa Fe Dining | Santa Fe restaurants help during COVID
Restaurant patio

Times have been tough for many people since the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives. Some have lost their jobs while healthcare workers and first responders have faced unexpected challenges. One Santa Fe-based restaurant company has,

Chef Joshua Ortiz at Rio Chama Prime Steakhouse

despite their own challenges, decided to focus on helping others. Santa Fe Dining, which owns restaurants such as Maria’s New Mexico Kitchen Restaurant, Rio Chama Prime Steakhouse, and the new Hidden Mountain Brewing Company, has brightened the days of thousands of healthcare workers, first responders, and soon, families in need.

Chief Operating Officer F. Rick Pedram explained, “This whole project was started out of a need for paying forward some ‘goodwill’ and an obligation to the community to do our part during these very difficult times. We as an organization – like many others – have taken a beating this year with all the closures and constraints. But the blow to our financials is nothing compared to the devastating hit that our team members and neighbors have had to endure and the sacrifices our healthcare professionals and first responders have so generously made during the pandemic. We thought it was our duty to do our best and spread some light and good cheer . . . to hopefully put a smile on someone’s face!”

And they have done just that, providing over 3,000 appreciation vouchers to local healthcare professionals for Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen and appreciation vouchers to every first responder in Santa Fe for Rio Chama Prime Steakhouse.

Exterior of Maria's New Mexico KitchenOne of the healthcare organizations whose employees benefited was Southwest Care. Southwest Care’s Communications Specialist Fernando Casados said, “Personally I was extremely touched by Rick Pedram’s phone call to me offering these generous dining gifts to our health care providers and staff. This came at a time that any moral support and thanks from the community was certainly needed. The feedback from staff was nothing short of sincere gratitude and appreciation. Everyone I spoke with expressed their deepest thanks to the association. And Hutton’s participation in this was equally appreciated. It’s uplifting to know that our city’s businesses and organizations can step up to the plate (no pun intended) during difficult times like this. Southwest Care Center thanks all those involved.”

The next step in their mission is to help families which are struggling in these challenging times. Rick says that the soon-to-opened Hidden Mountain Brewing Company, previously Blue Corn Brewery, will be launching a community outreach program for families in need. Each Sunday afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m., folks will be able to drive up to the curbside pickup to get a free boxed meal for four — no questions asked, or reservations needed. This will be the only service they offer during that hour and they expect to serve about 50 families each week. The program is planned to launch Sunday, January 24, and continue, Rick says, “until further notice or such time that things start to get better.”

Santa Fe Dining is an independent, family-owned restaurant group that owns and manages six brands, including a variety of restaurant concepts, a coffee roaster, and breweries. Learn more about their restaurants at

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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