SOCORRO, N.M. (KRQE) – A long-time family business in Socorro is getting a $50,000 grant from the state’s Economic Development Department. The EDD reports that the Capitol Bar & Brewery has been owned by the same family for nearly 50 years.
A press release from the department states that the bar dates back to 1896 when the area was a mining hub. The bar’s second owner, Judge Amos Green reportedly held court in the bar and jailed prisoners in the back room.
Currently owned by Earl and Joanna DeBrine, the Capitol Bar has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the LEDA-job creation fund in order for improvements on the building and to assist with a brewery and a morning coffee business that would help in expanding sales. According to EDD, the investment would allow the Capitol Bar & Brewery to increase its number of employees from eight to 14 over the next three years.
In the press release, Joanna DeBrine states that the business has succeeded thanks to loyal customers including New Mexico Tech students, parents, faculty, and members of the New Mexico Tech First Responder program. The company aims to open a coffee shop which would allow them to open earlier while locally-brewed beer would also draw in customers.
“The state assistance means everything for us,” said Joanna DeBrine in the press release. “We think these changes will contribute to the community, and increase tourism and hiring. This bar has a lot of history and tourists want to come and see it. If we can expand the hours, open earlier for coffee and then stay open longer, we can help the city and the other businesses near the plaza.”
The EDD reports that the state LEDA funds will be paid out as the business meets economic development benchmarks that were established in the project participation agreement. The agreement will be managed by the City of Socorro.