Artesia barbecue restaurant to close due to pandemic

Coronavirus New Mexico

ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) – A Southeast New Mexico restaurant is closing its doors after being in business for more than a decade. The owner says the lack of business and schools not being open are the reasons behind the closure. “All the things that we pulled off here, it’s sad to see it go. It really is,” said Jon Henry, owner of Henry’s BBQ.

Henry’s Barbecue is closing its doors because of the pandemic after 11 years of serving smoked barbecue, customers are sad to see it go. “It’s going to be a hole, that’s going to need to be filled in the community because they do so much,” said longtime customer David Zamora.

Since the start, they have always tried to help other small businesses in tow, especially during the pandemic. Earlier this year Henry’s BBQ started a “Cinnamon Roll Battle of 2020” to see which restaurants made the best cinnamon rolls. “We’ve had the Cinnamon Roll Wars, we’ve had all kinds of different fun, to try to promote ourselves, to try and promote the businesses in town,” said Henry.

Henry said they tried everything to stay afloat during the shutdowns. He says the biggest reason that he is closing the doors is to move to Texas to get his son back in school. “Well I think it’s a very sad day that we have to lose this wonderful restaurant that we love in Artesia, there’s very few restaurants in this town,” said longtime customer Julie Duffin.

Customers say they could not believe the news that the restaurant was closing for good, especially because there are so few restaurants in Artesia. “Absolutely, we’re going to try to eat here often as we can and maybe buy in bulk and freeze it,” said another longtime customer Shani Avery.

Some customers say they are going to try and go every day to the restaurant so they can get every last bit of it before it’s gone. Henry said it has been a lot harder than he envisioned because he truly doesn’t want to leave.

“Thanks to Artesia, this 11 years has been the greatest run of our lives. It’s sad, it really is. I didn’t think it would be, but it’s sad to see it go,” said Henry. The owner said they will close its doors for the final time on Dec. 31.

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