Send Steve Where?: Restaurants popping up in rural Harding County | KOB 4
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Send Steve Where?: Restaurants popping up in rural Harding County

Steve Soliz
June 21, 2017 07:23 AM

Send Steve where? This is the first in a series to let new KOB anchor Steve Soliz learn New Mexico, and to give New Mexico a chance to get to know Steve. Send your suggestions on where Steve should visit at sendsteve@kob.com

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ROY, N.M. -- In Harding County, life moves a little slower. The people of Roy like it that way.

Mary Libby Campbell is the executive director of Harding County's Main Street. She said those who live in Roy have long enjoyed shopping at the local general store, but eating out has not been an option for years until recently.

"The new priest that came to Roy, Father Brennan, and the Roy Chamber of Commerce got together and had a public meeting about why we didn't have a restaurant," she said.

Stacy Dodd answered the call and opened a restaurant. Her mother, Dorothy Hazen, now runs Lonita's Cafe. There's a full menu at Roy's only eatery.

"We have your traditional hamburgers, green chile cheeseburgers," Hazen said.

Marking special occasions was tough in Harding County, especially for teens on prom night.

"The kids from Roy would usually go to Vegas or Springer for dinner for the prom, and the kids from Mosquero would usually go to Logan, which is 50 miles from Mosquero," Campbell said.

At the same time that Lonita's was opening, something big was happening 19 miles down the road. The people of Mosquero also wanted their own restaurant. Jill Chatfield stepped up.

"My husband and I, about six months ago, we decided that we would open a restaurant," Chatfield said. "Not because we really thought there were a lot of people here, but there was no place to eat within an hour and a half's drive, at all."

With new restaurants in both towns, Campbell said Harding County is slowly becoming a dining destination.

"It's very relaxed here," she said. "You're not going to be rushed. You're not going to fight traffic. The food is different than what you'd find in the city. There's just good, friendly people that live here."

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Steve Soliz

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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