Circa 1950, Sonoita, Arizona was the tiny epicenter of a vast cattle ranching community in Santa Cruz County. The Sonoita Mercantile, the local general store, was the only shop in town. The then owners decided to expand their provisions business to include a modest restaurant, and The Steak Out Restaurant and Saloon was born. An outside grill and covered patio were added to the existing building and the legend of The Steak Out mesquite grilled beef began. Throughout the years, as the business expanded, numerous owners added on to the Sonoita Mercantile. Old army barracks were brought in to transform the covered patio and grill into an official restaurant.