Restaurateurs were hoping to hear Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham say they could reopen Friday for sit-down dining when she called the New Mexico Restaurant Association for a Zoom and Facebook Live talk Tuesday afternoon.

They didn’t get it.

“People are unhappy,” restaurant association CEO Carol Wight said on Zoom. “We didn’t get a date.”

Some 500 people in the restaurant industry tuned in.

Lujan Grisham’s current public health order with widespread business closures runs through Friday, but the governor made no mention of reopening restaurants in her address and was noncommittal when questioned about reopening.

“I have to consider the public safety issue,” Lujan Grisham said. “We will get back to you with a decision.”

Lujan Grisham has scheduled another briefing at 4 p.m. Wednesday on her Facebook page to discuss public health orders, according to a news release.

But on Tuesday, she focused on potential proposals to assist the restaurant industry.



“I am committed to find different economic support packages,” Lujan Grisham said. “We are identifying a potential tax relief strategy. If you have ideas, we want to hear them.”

She said she is considering having the state purchase personal protective equipment and deliver it to restaurants.

“I think that is something we have to be open to,” she said.

Lujan Grisham said in the second week of June, she expects to have state programs to invest in economic recovery for specific industries, including restaurants.

Asked later about the issue, Governor’s Office spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said, “Relief would be considered for any and all industries broadly affected by this pandemic. Legislative leadership would play a key role in deciding any of that.”

Restaurateurs have said they are hoping to be able to sell alcohol curbside and deliver alcohol, but that’s prohibited by state law. Lujan Grisham said only the Legislature can change the state statute.

“We want to do everything we can to lift you up and hold you up,” the governor said. “I want to find the safest way forward.”

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(23) comments

Stefanie Beninato

Bill Cassara Stop with the alternative facts. Local nurseries were open for most of the shutdown with a couple of weeks at most of closure. Payne's and Newman's are open now and have been, If you want to attack the governor, at least have a factual basis.

Mark Stahl

I’ve purchased books at Collected Works, paint at Big Jo’s and plants at Waterwise and Payne’s. The parking lot at Agua Fria Nursery was packed. Small businesses are open. It just takes a little effort. Lowe’s and Home Depot supply contractors so they can keep working.

Stefanie Beninato

Bill Cassara You keep repeating the alt-right/GOP playlist here. Look around! Nurseries like Payne's and Newman's have been mostly open during the shutdown and are now. At least get your facts straight if you want to complain.

Bill Cass

Hilarious. I am anything but a right winger. Payne's has told us they are only open for curbside pickup. But substitute any business. I can buy a book at a crowded Target but not a locally owned store. Yeah, that makes sense.

Stefanie Beninato

Sorry, Bill, but I was at Paynes and was allowed everywhere on the premises. Newman's did not want people in the main structure but was fine with people in all greenhouses and outside areas. Collected Works has been open for online orders. Even Stephen Fox who has a non essential gallery on S Francisco St has been open. I hope you and ken will exercise your god given rights--just stay out of the hospital when you get COVID--after all it's no worse than the flu as the Liar/Denier in Chief claims and Farr claimed here today.

Robert Bartlett

"Lujan Grisham said in the second week of June, she expects to have state programs to invest in economic recovery for specific industries, including restaurants."

Don't bother trying to hold your breath.

Khal Spencer

At some point, this "trust me, I have a plan to get you some relief" is going to sound more and more like Herman Goering's promise to relieve the Sixth Army in Stalingrad using the Luftwaffe to make air shipments. We know how that worked out. At some point, and I don't admittedly know when, the long term costs of shutting down the economy will cross paths with the costs of starting to reopen the economy prudently.

And like Stalingrad, I don't see those planes delivering buckets of cash to New Mexico.

kyle renfro

INTERESTING, studied Stalingrad for years, most people here wont have a clue what you are talking about. Dont forget the 4th Panzer army initially was going to try to break in to relive the troops, and then got reassigned. They pondered whether Paulus would break out, and then the supplies stepped up as the troops were so weak from starvation. Of course the red army encircled them, joining at Kalach and then squeezing them towards the Volga, but history aside, yes New Mexico is like the 6th Army.

Khal Spencer

Heh. A few analogies here. Air drops were inadequate from the start and got worse as time wore on. The 4th Pz relief column was never as strong as needed because other units would have to be drawn from elsewhere and that was denied.

So Kyle, when do you think the last airstrip in NM will fall and the last plane leave?

kyle renfro

HERR MLG, and i do mean HERR, is counting on the june special session to allow her access to raid the permanent funds, which she is prohibited by law without a constitutional vote, i hear she is also considering legalizing weed which i though would have to wait for the next legislature and a special session was not for new legislation. But in MLG mind, no matter how she interprets all laws is always right by her and no matter how we "ordinary folks" interpret laws, we are always wrong if they are in conflict with her thought process. It will be interesting to see what hair brained ideology MLG and Egolf can create . The biggest game plan, "no one work and we find the golden goose" have already been played. I am sure she will not want to cut any of her pork and again raid the permanent fund which she is counting on as he last airfield, that mechanism to break us out of the pocket. We dont know the hundreds of in house conferences she has had with her federal democratic colleges and the mothership, the DNC who are also scheming everyday. They say everything is for your safety because you will believe that, but the only thing important to them is their inter scheming plans for the future.I know of at least 5 persons who will lose their houses, and these five homes are families with kids, and people who had jobs and have all types of mental psychological issues and dropping boat loads of money will not fix this. You are talking about MLG who has never had to worry about her next meal ever, who has always been handed the best jobs "which she was never qualified for but just because her family was 15th generation lujans, who has benefits we will never have, and will never understand the plight of the average person. To her, being Gov is just like a high school project.

kyle renfro

I would say that in the end, the only thing that truly matters to MLG is that she comes out smelling like a rose, no matter how the facts are twisted, and that anyone, especially the republicans, come out smelling like S***. And if she has to manipulate and twist the law to get what she wants, she will try it, and by the time the challenges are heard in court, she will be gone or blame on those who believe that the letter of the law is more important than the "safety" of New Mexicans, what ever that means.

Dr. Michael Johnson

Well said Khal, and I offer this: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a H... of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

John Martinez

The downward trends are from all the lockdowns, social distancing, masks, etc. that have been in place. The virus is like a faucet, the more you tighten it the less you get but open it up and the more you get. If restaurants, hair salons and other in person businesses open they should all consider going to reservation only with a set time to come in and leave. so people aren't huddled in line and it gives the staff time to properly clean and prepare for the next reservation.

Karen Herrera

Lat week one of the legislature wrote an opinion piece stating that there was nothing the legislature could do until June. They needed to know how much money the feds were giving to the state. They could have addressed the law about delivering alcohol and saved some jobs and businesses.

Jack Hunter

Look around you people... It might not be crystal clear yet but pay attention. Over the next 10-15 Days all of these places that are opening without having me the challenge of knocking this virus back and practicing distancing and mask wearing are going to see large spikes in their case counts and death toll. It is going to happen. Georgia reported a 40% increase in cases yesterday. That’s just the start.

As thinking people we need to resist the desire to cheat on this. We cannot afford to come up short. We must stay focused. Believe me, I want to sit down at the Shed for a Margarita and a Blue Corn Stacked Enchilada as much as the next guy but you should also understand that regardless of what the governor says, my family and I won’t be going anywhere near a sit down restaurant anytime soon. That’s a fact Jack. Hold fast MLG. History will treat you kindly for protecting your citizens.

Karen Herrera

On the case for Georgia, the jury is still out. However, the RATE of positive cases is trending downward while testing has been expanded greatly. Hospitalizations and deaths are also trending downward.

Lucas Lujan

Ponder this, 218 COVID-19 deaths. 2018 Vehicular deaths, 390. Shouldn't we ban automobiles and liquor, Better yet, shut down all businesses, and take away the keys from New Mexican drivers until we have no more deaths from cars in the state of New Mexico.

Dr. Michael Johnson

Yes, this will be her next public health order: "No one will be allowed to drive again until we have no fatal accidents for the next 14 days. Whenever that goal is reached, considering the public health menace of driving at such high speeds, a phased approach will be taken where only certain classes of people will be allowed to drive in certain safe vehicles and at only 1/2 the posted speed limits. The lives saved could be yours and your Grandma's.

Signed Frau L-G

kyle renfro

from a person who states that planned parenthood, killing of babies is okay MLG is okay with that. Persons engaging in sexual activities will have prior authorization from the state for the express purpose of having a child they knowingly are able to provide for and care for and not for any other purpose, Pure pleasure is not allowed. HAHA

Bill Cass

I am a Georgia resident, with a home in NM. You are simply incorrect. Yes, the rate of "reported" cases has gone up, but that is because testing has increased. The real numbers do not show an increase at all. Governments make decisions every day that will lead to the death of its citizens, whether it be speed limits, the frequency or auto inspections or whatever. I supported MLG at first but she is completely lost at this point. It makes no sense that I can go to a crowded Lowe's and buy plants but not Payne's nursery. Let small businesses open, and ask that they follow social distancing guidelines. If you don't want to go in, don't. But I am smart enough to know the risk to myself and make my own decisions/

Barry Rabkin

OK ... just don’t go near any one else. Absolutely no other person. You are a vector of a highly infectious virus that does not have a treatment or vaccine yet. Yup, you might be fine... but stay away from all other people.

Kathleen O'Keefe

Well said.

Barry Rabkin

Exactly correct.

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