By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Juanito’s Mexican Restaurant is seeking to be the second restaurant in Portales which will be offering beer and wine under the new beer and wine license program approved by Portales voters in September.
Juanito’s Mexican Restaurant owner Juan Garza was present to answer any questions city councilors had and in support of the license. City councilors unanimously (5-0) approved the request for a beer and wine license during the Tuesday city meeting.
“I want to thank you (for approval of request),” Garza said. “We try to do our best (to accommodate customers) and the community has always been supportive.”
Portales residents approved to allow the beer and wine license last year with 374 votes cast in favor of the proposal and 338 votes against during the September election.
“We definitely appreciate your business,” Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega told Garza.
Pizza Hut was the first restaurant to request a beer and wine license and city councilors approved the license in mid-May. Pizza Hut had been operating under a liquor license, but sought the beer and wine license because of its lower costs and sold its liquor license to the Allsup’s convenience store at 1032 W. Second St.
Pizza Hut’s next step was to seek approval from the New Mexico Alcohol and Gaming Commission, which is the next step for Garza and Juanito’s Restaurant.
There was no opposition against the Pizza Hut or Juanito’s Mexican Restaurant beer and wine licenses during either city council meeting.
In other business at the meeting:
• Ortega recognized Danny Woodward, president of Portales MainStreet program, for Woodward’s help in beautifying the downtown area. According to the certificate of recognition, Woodward has poured concrete, planted trees and helped set up street lamps around the downtown area.
The state of New Mexico Mainstreet Program awarded Woodward the “Governor’s Excellence in Leadership Award” for his volunteer work in the community.
“The governor’s award is one of the most prestigious awards,” Portales City Manager Debi Lee said. “I appreciate his leadership and partnership with the City of Portales.”
Woodward was not present at city council meeting on Tuesday but did write a letter to the city council in appreciation of the award. Woodward said the main street program would not be what it is today without the support of the city council.
• Ortega thanked Eastern New Mexico University football players for their help with community service projects. The Greyhounds held a free football camp for children and helped take part in a trash walk throughout Portales.
Mike Howard, assistant football coach, and two members of the ENMU football team, Rodrick Chambers and J. J. Ortiz were present to receive a certificate of recognition for their community service work.