ENMU trying to obtain license to serve liquor


August 21, 2019

PORTALES — Start drafting your toasts, because Eastern New Mexico University is in the process of obtaining a license to serve liquor for events at select locations on campus.

It’s not for selling beer at football games, nor is there a pub or any other dedicated establishment moving into the domain of the Green & Silver. University officials said they mainly wanted to expand the range of places where people around Portales could hold special events where alcohol is served.

On campus, that’s currently restricted to functions in the president’s backyard, said ENMU President Jeff Elwell. He told The News that people were previously interested in holding wedding receptions at the Campus Union (CUB) “but they didn’t want to have (only) Pepsi and Dr Pepper” on tap.

The process of pursuing a liquor license was approved by the ENMU Board of Regents, and remaining steps consist of posting a public notice for 20 days, posting a listing in the paper and holding two public meetings before the city of Portales. Elwell estimates that process can be completed in about the next 100 days, so he’s looking toward early November.

The process is “fairly simple, but takes some time,” said City Clerk Joan Martinez-Terry. The city only hears the request after the state’s Alcohol and Gaming division has approved it, but “if everything is approved by the state then there is probably no reason why the city council would deny it.”

ENMU’s Chief Financial Officer Scott Smart said the Alcohol & Gaming division has “not yet approved our application,” which was submitted “a couple weeks back.” He told The News in an email that he has no way of estimating how long their approval process will take.

Elwell said the license was specifically intended for events at the CUB, the University Theater Center and the Greyhound Stadium/Arena. Once ENMU acquires the license it will lease it to facilities management and food services company Sodexo, which would be responsible for providing licensed servers.

Elwell said a liquor license for those locations at ENMU could expand the possibilities of certain corporate events that would otherwise be restricted to venues like the Yam Theater in Portales.


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