Magdalena’s “blue law” preventing restaurants from serving beer and wine with meals has come to an end. By a 224-87 margin, Magdalena voters on Nov. 8 approved the ballot question: “Shall the issuance of restaurant licenses for the sale of beer and wine be approved within the Village of Magdalena, a local option district?”
Mayor Richard Rumpf had voiced his support for putting the local option on the November ballot.
“This gives the people an option to have a drink with their meal,” he said. “And it supports our businesses.”
The ballot question was put into motion with the approval of a resolution by the trustees in March which pointed out that the Alcohol Beverage Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department grandfathered in Magdalena as a local option district prior to the 1981 enactment of the Local Option statute.
“It said local option districts must hold elections on whether to approve the issuance of restaurant licenses,” Rumpf said.
Such an election may be initiated by petition or by resolution of the governing body of a local option district without a petition, the statute says.
Osiris Navarro of Tumbleweeds Diner, which was granted a provisional license pending the outcome of the election, said the license is now permanent.
“We finally have our beer and wine license,” Navarro said. “We’re starting to serve organic, low-intervention wines with meals. A variety of wines.”
She said the beers include basic domestics as well as craft beer from New Mexico breweries.
“It’s slowly catching on with our customers,” Navarro said.
Other businesses in Magdalena serving food may also apply for the beer and wine license. Navarro said she believes it is good for the village overall.
“It helps with higher gross receipts and any businesses that hopefully open and serve food will benefit,” she said. “It will be good for the local economy.”