ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was the first weekend that businesses serving alcohol had to close their doors at 10 p.m. under the new health order. While the New Mexico Restaurant Association hasn’t always agreed with the governor’s restrictions, it’s supporting this decision.
“It’s the rules and we need to follow them,” said Carol Wight, the CEO of the New Mexico Restaurant Association. On Tuesday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the new rule, that went into effect on Friday.
Not everyone agrees with the latest decision. The manager at Gecko’s in Nob Hill says it’s going to negatively affect their bartenders and servers. “Any bartender, any server can say that one hour could make your night for sure,” said Manager Levar Eskeets.
But Wight says the rule makes sense. “I don’t think there’s [sic] many restaurants out there that are open past ten that are behaving like restaurants. Those that are open past ten may be behaving like bars,” said Wight.
The NMRA hasn’t always agreed with the governor’s restrictions. In July, they filed a lawsuit against the state, saying the governor is unfairly targeting the industry but Wight says her priority is getting restaurants open at 50% capacity indoors before winter.
“There’s a lot of concern that that might not happen,” said Wight. In order to make sure it does, she explains there might have to be some sacrifices. “We might have to do other things that are a little uncomfortable,” said Wight. The governor also said the number of rapid responses at restaurants is going up rapidly, with a 120% increase at restaurants week after week.
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