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School days: when chalk was precious

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From Army Ranger to revolutionary

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Breaking Free
El Refugio celebrates 25 years of helping domestic-violence victims

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Hiking Apacheria: Mangas Creek Ranch

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Red or Green
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Josephina's Old Gate Café
Table Talk

About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e   October 2008

Table Talk

Just can’t say it quite yet! Bob Rowland, co-owner with Bruce Helmig and Dale Harned of Isaac’s Bar & Grill at the corner of Bullard and Broadway in downtown Silver City, says that while, yes, the restaurant is under contract to be sold, negotiations and paperwork are not yet complete. Rowland acknowledges that the transfer of a liquor license is a particularly complex matter, one with which the partners and potential buyer(s) are grappling. Stay tuned….

Begorrah! The long-awaited Brigid's Cross Irish Pub has opened in Las Cruces. Owners Patrick and Jovonna Hanlon checked in to offer Caed Mille Failte — "a hundred thousand welcomes" — throwing open their doors officially Sept. 24. Though only serving drinks at press time, the Hanlons say they hope to launch their menu around Oct. 1, with a grand opening celebration slated for Oct. 4. 1338 Picacho Hills Dr., 647-1455.

Mariano's, a soon-to-be Italian restaurant in Pinos Altos, has already begun catering special events and parties in the long-vacant building next to the ice cream shop/post office. Owners are Thomas Bock and chef Maryann Diaguardo. The couple recently put together a first-class Hawaiian-themed shindig, from a tropical menu to umbrella-ed tables and elegant bamboo decor. They hope to be up and serving dinner in their Italian restaurant before long. The building's owner, Kurt Harala, says he has been working with Bock and Diaguardo on renovating the space. 313-4349.

Santorini's, serving Greek and Lebanese food at 1001 E. University Ave. in Las Cruces, near Mix Pacific Rim in the Kinko's shopping plaza, has just opened. Charles Abboud co-owns the restaurant with business partner Charbel Soukayem, along with Greek Cuisine and Catfish Basket restaurants in El Paso. Santorini's menu includes Greek items like lamb and chicken gyros, souvlaki and those little meatballs called keftedes, plus Lebanese dishes such as beef kafta and lamb kabobs. No word on whether the Greek tradition of plate smashing will be honored. 521-9270, Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Hurry in to the Purple Onion Cafe before the season ends. The quaint Mogollon breakfast-n-burger joint operates only from May through October. "We have mostly outdoor seating so it gets hard to sit out there when it starts getting cold," says proprietor and Friday chef Tom Miller, who runs the place with his wife, Amy Pedersen. Miller says breakfast includes omelets and all the basics and ballyhoos his burgers as the "best in the southwest." No French fries, but homemade potato and pasta salads and green salads. Choose from a half-dozen homemade pies for dessert. Fri., Sat. and Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Main Street Mogollon across from the Mogollon Artisans gallery. 539-2710.

Las Crucens lost a Dairy Queen last month when owners Mike and Jeanette Apodaca closed their franchise at 1290 S. Valley Dr., which they owned for 23 years after purchasing the franchise rights from his grandfather, Raymond Apodaca. The couple owns and still operates the DQ at 2601 N. Main St. There also is a Dairy Queen at 1773 E. University Ave., owned by Harry Hatch, in operation as Dairy Queen Brazier Pan Am for 28 years.

Long-lived Las Cruces lounge, Victoria's, recently closed its doors. Owners State Senator Mary Jane Garcia and her sister, Elodia Garcia, ran the business for 27 years, utilizing the liquor license their mother, Victoria, purchased in 1934, the second one sold in the country after Prohibition was repealed. The sisters said their parents used the license at their own establishment for years, then leased it to Holiday Inn for a while. The Garcia sisters sold their storied liquor license to Pic Quik in August. The building and land are up for sale.

And sometimes a restaurant fades from the scene with nary a notice in the window or sign of things to come. The Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant, 914 N. Pope St. in Silver City, has gone down without a fire-breathing roar. Locals have reported cruising by the eatery and finding it closed for weeks. No notices on the door and no answer at the business phone.

— Donna Clayton Lawder

Send restaurant news to donna@desertexposure.com

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