Maryssa Esquibel, manager at Joe’s Dining, finishes making a bloody mary in March. The revamped state liquor license laws that made it cheaper and easier for smaller restaurants to apply for a liquor license have been ‘wildly successful’ so far, the director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division said Monday.

A little more than a year after a new law allowed New Mexico’s small restaurants to buy liquor licenses to boost business, the head of the department overseeing the transition told lawmakers it has been “wildly successful.”

Andrew Vallejos, director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the state Regulation and Licensing Department, said the new law “may have given [restauranteurs] additional ways to stay afloat.”

He said his agency had approved 125 new liquor licenses under the revamped system, which was signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2021. Another 30 applicants are pending approval, according to a report Vallejos supplied to members of the interim Economic Development and Policy Committee on Monday.

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

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