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Businesses gone but not forgotten


I don’t believe any of these five businesses closed in 2020 due solely to the Coronavirus, but it certainly had an impact.

Unfortunately, a year from now – or less, there will be several more Las Cruces businesses closed directly due to the pandemic. Many are struggling mightily right now.

These five businesses, however, were a good composite of Las Cruces retail business, and they played important roles in our community.

MOUNTAIN VIEW MARKET CO-OP – Part of Las Cruces for 45 years, the Co-op offered many things unavailable elsewhere in town, and was member-owned. I loved their little kitchen. It was the first, and so far, only, place I ever found a sunflower butter and jelly sandwich.

CARRILLO’S – Shortly after he was first elected to the Las Cruces City Council in 2007, I scheduled an interview with Nathan Small. He suggested we meet for lunch at Carrillo’s on a Thursday, chicken-taco special day. I went back many times with friends. Always a great meal and a great time. The closest runner-up I’ve found for the best chicken tacos in town is Saenz Gorditas.

BURGER TIME – The breakfast burritos and the flautas were some of the best in town, but Burger Time was known more for the community projects of its owner, Kevin McGrath, as it was for the food. McGrath started the annual Burger Time Golf Tournament in 1994 as a fundraiser for high school football in Las Cruces. The money generated and donated to the athletic programs propelled Las Cruces teams to a higher level. During the 23-year stretch of the tournament, a Las Cruces team made the state football championship 21 times and won 14 times. Burger Time also served as a great meeting place for friends and groups.

BARNETT’S HARLEY DAVIDSON – Even though the Las Cruces shop was an extension of the bigger Barnett’s down the road in El Paso, it was an important part of the community. Motorcycle training and safety lessons were taught at the Las Cruces store, and it was frequently a starting and gathering spot for motorcycle events, parades and runs. Its absence leaves a big vacuum.

RAD RETROCADE – By far the newest of this group, Rad Retrocade had barely been open a year when COVID-19 hit and closed their doors. I’ve heard conflicting reports about whether it will ever be back, but it added a great place for fun, food and beverages in Downtown Las Cruces. Playing their vintage video games and pinball machines was like time traveling to my college days, and it was the perfect spot to meet friends, as well as to hang out with your family. It was a key cog in Downtown’s revitalization.

Richard Coltharp