EUNICE, NM -- It's official. Restaurants in Eunice, Lovington and Tatum can now serve beer and wine.
For some families, this is not a victory, but one Eunice business owner believes this could help his business thrive in the small town.
Johnny Robertson is the owner of the Outlaw Grill in Eunice, New Mexico.
He was one of the proponents of the alcohol vote that took place Tuesday.
Robertson feels like selling beer and wine in his restaurant would help fill his seats during the evening rush.
"I hope that it increases sales at night because that's where we need the most help right now. Like i said, people are driving 30 minutes to get a drink with their food," Robertson said.
The grill has been in business since January and Robertson says he does very well during lunch, but after work, when people want a meal and a drink they're driving all the way to places like Hobbs where restaurants can already serve beer and wine.
For him, the fact that cities in New Mexico still withhold alcohol sales is a bit behind the times.
"Every steak and seafood restaurant restaurant I've ever been to has offered some form of alcohol, whether it be beer, wine or actual liquor and i just think it would be more beneficial to the community and the business to bring it on," Robertson told Big 2.
To that end, the city of Eunice held a vote Tuesday so the citizens could choose if their restaurants could sell beer and wine.
The vote took place at the Eunice Community Center, and according to election officials, there was a steady turnout of voters, despite a lack of advertisement about the controversial vote.
Not all of those voices, however, were speaking the praises of beer and wine sales.
Stephanie Murphy, a Eunice resident told Big 2 that she was against the measure on the basis of it impacting her young family.
Murphy is a mother of two and feels like beer and wine sales could take away that family atmosphere she is looking for in a restaurant.
"We would like to eat in an establishment that is more family friendly," Murphy said.
In the end, though, Murphy turned out to be in the minority, as the vote passed by a 190 to 121 margin.
In Lovington, the vote passed by a 195 to 125 margin. Tatum passed the vote by a 51 to 29 vote.
Now, according to Eunice Mayor Matt White, this new law goes into effect immediately, but before any beer and wine can be sold, restaurant owners must apply for a permit through the New Mexico Alcoholic Beverage Commission, post a $5,000 bond and get final approval from Eunice City Council.
A vote took place in Lovington as well, and we will post those results as they come available.