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Airport restaurant plans resuming after delay

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The Pecos Flavors Winery and Bistro location planned for the airport terminal is now expected to open in about three months after delays in the renovation effort. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The effort to open a Pecos Flavors Winery and Bistro location in the airport terminal building is “back on track again” after some delay, according to city staff.

“I think we have overcome most of the obstacles that we had,” said City Manager Joe Neeb. “We believe it will pick up the pace here real soon.”

Pecos Flavors, which has a location on West Second Street and has been in the city since 2004, entered into an agreement with the city in March to open a location at the terminal after city efforts to secure bidders through a Request for Proposals process did not turn up viable prospects.

The city approached Pecos Flavors after the RFP attempts, with city staff saying that Pecos Flavors had expressed interest in the concept but had decided not to submit a bid.

“What we were really looking for as a type of business to put in here was something that is New Mexico, something with local flair and something that was diverse enough that it could become a destination-type place,” said City Manager Joe Neeb. “We think Pecos will fill that need, that people will travel down here just to go to the facility.”

The plan had been for the airport restaurant and bar to open before the winter holidays, but delays involving designs and engineering plans occurred, including a need to develop mechanical engineering drawings.

Then, in November, the general contractor, Holloway Construction, opted to withdraw from the project, according to Air Center Director Scott Stark. The company has since agreed to return.

Jason Holloway, an owner of the company, confirmed that information but chose not to provide any other comment.

City Project Manager Kevin Dillon said the city’s current budget to renovate the restaurant space — about $160,000 — will not meet all the design ideas that the restaurant owners have, but that it will bring the space, about 1,685 square feet, up to code as a kitchen and a bar.

“It is going to be basic for now just to get it up and running,” said Dillon. “Then we can review the budget later to see if we can fulfill all that they would like it to be.”

Neeb indicated that the city is still working to obtain a liquor license for the operation as well, and Dillon said that the plan now is for the restaurant to be open in about three months.

Cindy Ragsdale said she and other Pecos Flavors owners are “waiting patiently” for the city work to be done so that they can begin operations.

She said she could not comment about the specifics regarding the delays.

“We are excited about the opportunity,” she said, “and we are just waiting for the city to give us the go-ahead.”

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.