By Kristina Houck
Across the street from the Del Mar Race Track, Red Tracton’s first opened its doors in Solana Beach in 1988. The East Coast-style steakhouse celebrated its 25th anniversary Aug. 22 with a VIP party featuring champagne, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
“It’s amazing that we’ve been here for 25 years,” said owner Tracy Tracton, who sponsored the party along with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. “I’m very grateful for all of my wonderful, loyal customers. They are what’s made us so special.”
The family-owned and operated Red Tracton’s was originally established in the Los Angeles area in the 1960s. At the request of friends, Harold “Red” Tracton, Tracy’s father, relocated the restaurant across the street from the racetrack and opened during the 1988 racing season.
“It was always a sports-oriented hangout,” said Tracton, whose father owned and operated several Southern California restaurants. “My dad was a real colorful character and well-known all over, from Philadelphia to California. He always had a great reputation.”
With at least 30 years experience in the restaurant industry, Tracton continued to operate the local restaurant after her father died in 1998. Her first job was at the Buggy Whip, her father’s restaurant near the Los Angeles International Airport.
“It was meant to be — to carry on the legacy,” said Tracton, whose three children work in the restaurant industry, including her son, Mason, Red Tracton’s general manager. “I love seeing people happy. I love the interaction with the customers. I love giving good service and knowing they walk away feeling they had a great meal.”
Known for its large portions, Tracton welcomes first-timers to try Red Tracton’s signature dishes such as the prime rib, giant baked potato and Green Goddess Salad, or the lobster bisque. She also invites customers to see the restaurant’s newly renovated Triple Crown Room, a Hollywood-themed private dining room.
“Del Mar is a special place,” Tracton said. “There aren’t a lot of things like us around here. I think tradition and quality is what makes Red’s a highlight of our community.
“We hope we have the continued loyalty and continued patronage of everyone in the community. We hope we’ll be around for another 25 years.”
For more information about Red Tracton’s, visit