By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
After sitting quietly on Second Street for well over a year, the building called the Dawg Houze will soon house Portales’ newest package store. But as co-owner Chad Heflin explains, it’s already been a battle to get to this point.
“It’s hard to open a business,” Heflin said. “But it’s even harder to open a business with alcohol. Because there are so many loops you have to jump through and make sure all your loose ends are tied up.”
Heflin believes most of those loose ends are taken care of. He’s acquired a liquor license for the Dawg Houze package store, and after putting the finishing touches on the inside decor, now he’s just waiting for the state of New Mexico to give him the green light to open.
“I guess once it’s open it will hit me,” Chad’s wife and co-owner Kim Heflin said. “When it opens, I’ll be happy, but until then it’s hard to get too excited.”
“As soon as they tell me that I can open it up — I need a week after that to re-stock my beer and then we’ll be ready to rock and roll,” Heflin said.
The Heflins are hoping to open the store in August, but no later than the beginning of September. Then, he says, they can focus on getting the upstairs sports bar completed.
“(The package store) is our main priority,” Heflin said. “We’ve got to get this opened and then the sports bar is day-by-day. We’re not going to stop for anything. We’re going to just keep pushing forward until we can get it done.”
The sports bar will feature a full bar, restaurant, high-definition televisions and a pool room.
“We wanted to make a place where people on Saturdays can come after Eastern (New Mexico University) plays, watch college football, grab a bite to eat, drink some beers and just watch some games,” Heflin said. “We’re not going to have any dancing or anything like that. This is going to be a restaurant and a bar that you can come in, just relax and have a good time.”
“I think our service is what’s going to (set us apart),” Kim said. “Because we’ve all talked about how we need to make sure that we have the best service that you’ll find in town because we sell the same product that you could get at other bars.”
Chad and Kim are joined in the business by Chad’s parents, Danny and Ludell Heflin.
“We’ve had some problems here and there but right now they’re all worked out,” Heflin said. “It seemed for two years we were always battling to get uphill and now it’s starting to come downhill and we’re just real excited about opening.”