Two metal bull heads — whose eyes glow red outside the doorway of Gorat’s Steak House — are missing a member of their herd.
The third bull’s head that normally decorates the outer wall of the restaurant near 50th and Center Streets was stolen early Friday, a partner in business said.
Grant Mathey said he doesn’t believe that the head would have much monetary value. But he said it certainly has a sentimental value for the restaurant, where the red-eyed bull heads have greeted customers since 1954.
The bulls were gifts and represented Gorat’s original owners, Louis S. Gorat and his wife, Nettie, who opened the restaurant in 1944, and their son, Louis N. “Pal” Gorat, who with his wife, Shirley, took over the restaurant in 1960.
The Gorat family took down one of the bull heads when Louis Gorat passed away, Mathey said. But after Gene Dunn bought the restaurant from the family in 2012, the restaurant asked if it could rejoin the other two outside Gorat’s, Mathey said.
And in 2013 the herd was reunited.
Until Friday, no outsiders had ever disturbed the decorations, he said.
Footage from a video surveillance camera showed a white pickup truck without a tailgate drive through the portico at the entrance about five minutes before a person walked up to the restaurant, Mathey said.
The restaurant had been closed for the Fourth of July holiday, he said, so the lot was empty for most of the night. The theft was believed to have happened shortly after midnight.
Mathey said the bull head probably was stolen as a novelty item in what he called a “dorm room prank.” And he said he would be happy if the decoration “magically appeared on the doorstep” of Gorat’s.
But he planned to file a police report on Monday, so officers could be on the lookout for the separated bull.