Ruidoso restaurant defies the governor, opens outdoor seating | KOB 4
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Ruidoso restaurant defies the governor, opens outdoor seating

Faith Egbuonu
Updated: May 15, 2020 06:18 PM
Created: May 15, 2020 05:40 PM

RUIDOSO, N.M.- Anaheim Jacks, a popular restaurant in Ruidoso, said they’re taking a stand, despite Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s emergency state orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The owners, Scott and Lisa Stevens, said they’re expanding their curbside and delivery services to outdoor patio dining beginning Friday.

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“We’re basically standing up for our civil rights to run a business,” said Anaheim Jacks general manager, Steve Silva. “You have big box stores that can open; you can go into grocery stores—Albertson’s, Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot and there’s hundreds of people in there, but we cannot have restaurants open? For what reason?”

Silva said they will continue to practice safety guidelines with 5 people to each table, 8 ft. apart –14 tables, only.

“Our staff is taking great strides in making sure we’re sanitizing and doing everything that we can for the safety of the public,” he said. “We can sit them outside where they can be exposed to the fresh air out here in the pines and have a decent meal in the comfort of a table setting.”

“We practice more social distancing than any of the big box grocery stores that you go into, and you see the difference when you’re standing or walking in an aisle and there’s many of those people in those aisles that you’re bumping into that aren’t practicing social distancing,” Silva said. “When you’re in a restaurant facility, we could control that by allowing them to sit down at a certain table that is already social distanced from other guests.”

However, Silva said indoor dining is still prohibited.

By standing their ground, the owners said they hope other New Mexico businesses hit hard by COVID-19 will follow suit for their voices to be heard.

“We would love for the rest of—not just Ruidoso, but New Mexico and the country as a whole to be able to stand their ground,” Silva said. “Civil rights have been taken away from us to earn a living and provide a living for our employees and everyone else.”

Starting May 16, per the state’s public health order, all retailers and places of worship may operate at 25% capacity, and must have COVID-safe practices in place.


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