Retailers: Base means business

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

For as long as the Foxy Drive-In has been in Clovis, airmen of the 27th Fighter Wing and their families have had a place to eat.

“We did quite a bit with the air base as far as airmen coming and eating with us and everything. We still do, we have a lot of families that come in that are out of the base,” said Foxy Drive-In owner Chris Bryant.

Bryant, who has worked at the drive-in for 34 years, said the base’s transition from a fighter wing to a special operations wing will be good for his and other businesses.

“We’re looking forward to all the new people that are going to be coming in and hopefully it will do well for the whole community, not just us,” he said. “I think it’ll be a big impact for every business in Clovis, as well as the housing industry and everything else,” he said.

The base received its new mission in June 2006 after originally being marked for closure in 2005. The base will change designation from the 27th Fighter Wing to the 27th Special Operations Wing on Oct. 1.

Da’s Tailor and Dry Cleaning owner Da Mathews said most of her business comes from airmen who need work on their uniforms.

“They have an alteration (shop) at the base, but more of the people come here because we have the best service in town,” she said.“Some airmen have only one uniform and sometimes they come with their first stripe and they have to have it (right away); that’s why they like (it) here,” she said.

She said airmen from the new mission have already come by for tailoring services, which she has offered for 21 years.

“I think my old customers … tell them to come over,” she said.

She said she will miss her old customers but she expects the transition won’t hurt her business.

Mathews has noticed the new mission uniforms don’t have patches like the 27th Fighter Wing, “but they still have to have ranks (and) names (on their uniforms).”