The Elephant Butte City Council held a public hearing on transferring the liquor license to Chisolm Properties, doing business as Fast Stop, at the July 27 special meeting.
During the hearing, Ashbaugh said, “My family has been in the liquor business since 1935. This will be our fifth liquor license. We have operated them with little problem.”
The liquor license will include package sales as well as drinks being served on site. Ashbaugh said he is renovating the property to include a “cabana bar” outside.
The times of sale for the cabana bar will be from 4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. during the week and until 11:30 p.m. on weekends.
“The cabana bar will be quite limited compared to other bar hours in the area,” Ashbaugh said.
According to City Councilman Mike Williams, the Valero had a restaurant inside that did not serve liquor, which the owner leased out. It only had package sales.
Two members of the public spoke against giving Chisolm Properties the liquor license. Ms. J. Orr said the location, the intersection of Highway 195 and Rock Canyon Road, is one of the busiest in the city. She also said the “small city is saturated with liquor” sellers and didn’t need another one.
Penny Jehova said selling liquor there would “encourage drunk driving,” and asked the City Council to deny the transfer.
Sheriff Glenn Hamilton testified “That location has always sold packaged goods. We’ve never had issues with that location. I don’t see any additional public safety issues.”
He also confirmed there has been no increase in Driving-While-Under-the-Influence tickets in the area in recent years.
Williams, in a separate interview from the public hearing, noted that a VFW Hall, an American Legion and an Elks Lodge in what was Hodges Restaurant are other bars within a five-block distance from the Fast Stop. “But the public cannot go in those bars to drink. Only the Fast Stop will be open to the general public.”
The City Council approved the liquor license transfer unanimously.
Ashbaugh owns four other Fast Stops, all with liquor licenses, in Truth or Consequences and Williamsburg.