Home News Local News Winery proposes flavorful addition to airport; Legal Committee recommends lease

Winery proposes flavorful addition to airport; Legal Committee recommends lease

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Pecos Flavors Winery could potentially lease and operate a restaurant and bar in the currently empty cafe at the Roswell International Air Center, giving locals and visitors a taste of local flavor. (Alison Penn Photo)

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Pecos Flavors Winery has the opportunity obtain a two-year lease with the city of Roswell to operate a restaurant and bar at the Roswell International Airport.

Manager at Pecos Winery, Suzann Naylor pours a beer while chatting with regular customers and the Daily Record on Thursday evening. Naylor said the winery offers 104 different kinds of New Mexico wines and having a new location at the Roswell International Air Center would promote New Mexican businesses. (Alison Penn Photo)

Members of the Roswell City Council Legal Committee, including Chair Barry Foster, Jeanine Corn Best and Juan Oropesa, voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to recommend the proposal to the full Council.

The Council is scheduled to consider the lease at its next meeting March 15.

“We are very excited to bring this amenity to the citizens and city of Roswell,” Josh Ragsdale said.

A popular local winery, bistro and event venue, Pecos Flavors Winery was opened in 2004 by the Ragsdale family, which also owns The Liberty, a membership-supported bar, social club and event venue.

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Air Center Director Scott Stark said Pecos Flavors will have a café area inside the terminal in a section where Walker Aviation Museum is at the present moment. The museum will move to the now-empty area in the east section of the airport building.

Hoping the restaurant and bar will succeed and be a positive experience for patrons and passengers, Stark said the prior business that occupied the café had not done well, and for this reason, the city has been selective in choosing a new restaurant.

“This would be an experience that is unique to New Mexico and Roswell, so it would say, welcome to Roswell,” Stark said.

If the lease is approved, the winery will have first option on operating a food service kiosk if the airport expands in the future. Councilor Foster asked to give the winery first right of refusal for catering for events at the base, which he said could help Pecos Flavors be successful. Both parties and the committee agreed to add this amendment to the lease agreement.

The city has proposed escalating lease payments. The first six months Pecos Flavors would pay $100 per month. The second six months, it would pay $600 for the lease and the same for the liquor license with installments of $200 each month. In the final year, rent would be $3,600 and the liquor license lease would be $3,000, paid in installments of $550 per month.

In a news release, the city said it believes the addition of the food and drink offerings at the 1,685-square-foot airport terminal will increase the value and benefit of the airport to those who use it, as well as contribute to the gradual growth of amenities at the larger Roswell air center. The addition of new businesses at the air center is seen as a way of increasing stability and growth for all businesses and enterprises operating there.

The news release also stated that the city will provide the liquor license and that the restaurant and bar will operate six days a week during “normal” business hours.

Previously, the city sent out requests for proposals for a restaurant operator at the airport, but the news release indicated that no responses were received that were considered acceptable, leading the city to begin negotiations with the winery.

If the council votes to approve the proposed lease, the winery could have access to the building to renovate the kitchen on April 1.

“I think this is absolutely wonderful,” Councilor Best said, addressing Paul Ragsdale, one of the people at the meeting representing Pecos Flavors. “I want to commend you for stepping up the plate. I think this is going to be a great asset for Roswell and its airport. I feel that your customers that you have at both places are going to migrate.”

Best said she remembered as a child visiting the airport and not being allowed to go to the restaurant on the second floor, so she indicated that she is excited to have the opportunity to enjoy a restaurant at the airport as an adult.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to expand with Roswell and bring a lot of the local flavors to people coming in and out,” Suzann Naylor, manager at Pecos Flavors Winery, said. “It’s a great way to promote all of New Mexican business.”

City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.