By Tony Parra
The Portales downtown area will be alive again after 5 p.m. this summer with the opening of a new restaurant.
The Territorial House, which will open in the old Roosevelt Restaurant location, will offer Mexican and American food. Harold Schillings, who purchased the Roosevelt, plans to open by the end of June.
The Roosevelt restaurant closed down at the end of December.
Shillings, who moved to Portales from Amarillo, said he has sold the Roosevelt’s liquor license and he intends to apply for a beer and wine license. According to Clovis city documents, a license was transferred from The Roosevelt to the incoming Applebee’s Bar and Grill.
Shillings said he had a beer and wine license in The Plaza, a restaurant he owned in Borger, Texas. He said he offered the same cuisine; hamburgers, steaks and Mexican food; in previous restaurants he owned in Amarillo and Dumas.
Shillings said he is bracing for the opening of the restaurant.
“It usually takes two months to level out,” Shillings said, “to see what the strengths and weaknesses of your staff are. We have to develop the employees.”
Shillings, along with his son, Mark, is remodeling of the restaurant. Both will share the managing and operational aspects of the restaurant. Mark said he will fill in wherever he is needed.
Shillings envisioned a new, different appearance for the restaurant. He added a canopy over the front door and a glass door on the back (south) entrance. He said this will allow customers to use the parking lot behind the restaurant and enter through the back entrance.
The main dining area on the first level will have new booths and new light fixtures in place. The upstairs area will be used for banquets. Mark Shillings said new carpet will be installed next week.
“A good atmosphere is what makes a restaurant successful,” Harold Shillings said. “A good, clean restaurant.”
Mark Schillings said he grew up in the restaurant business.
“I was five and Brad (Shillings, Mark’s older brother) was 11 years old (when introduced to the restaurant business),” Mark said. “It’s (restaurant business) not bad. It keeps you busy and active. The rewards are great if you do a good job. If you don’t, it puts stress on you.”
Mark said Brad, who works at the Do Drop Inn in Portales, has helped with the remodeling of The Territorial. Harold said Brad told him the restaurant was available for sale and it got him interested in owning it. Mark said the success of other Mexican/American food restaurants and a growing economy in Portales were factors in the decision to purchase the property.
Harold said they have not began to advertise for the 30 available positions. Tentative plans call for the restaurant to be open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The possibility of the restaurant staying open later on Friday and Saturday is also being discussed.