LL council gives OK to Applebee's progress

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Local residents will soon have another dining option as another new restaurant opens in Los Lunas.

An Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar is expected to open sometime around Christmas or New Year, said Ralph Mims, village economic development director. The restaurant is being built at the corner of Main Street and Los Cerritos Road.

A liquor license transfer, and a waiver on the distance requirement was approved at the Los Lunas Council meeting last Thursday.

Mayor Robert Vialpando was absent, so Mayor Pro Tem Charles Griego presided over the meeting.

Alcohol-serving establishments such as Applebee's are required to be at least 300 feet away from any church or school, but the Faith Family Church of the Nazarene is located in the shopping center across Los Cerritos Road, east of the Applebee's site.

"We did mail them two certified letters of the public hearings, and we did call them personally," said Christina Ainsworth, community development director. "We've had no negative feedback from them."

Pastor Alan Granat said he sent a letter to Jane Pilger, owner and senior associate at Grubb and Ellis. He could not speak in favor of the waiver, but said that people must make their own decisions for their own lifestyles.

"I felt that ultimately they would end up passing that," Granat said.

The code was amended so a liquor license could be allowed at the 1540 Main Street NW location where the Applebee's is being built.

"We do not support consumption of alcohol," Granat said. "Our doctrine is very conservative, and we believe it can be very destructive to people and their families."

No one from the church attended the council meeting.

"Applebee's is a big driver because of its name recognition," said Mims. "(It has) sparked a lot of retail interest in the property around Lowe's and Home Depot."

Two letters of intent have been given to the land owner and developer, Grubb and Ellis, on other properties in front of Lowe's.

There are a total of five lots for sale. One of the lots has been purchased by Petsense, the national pet supply chain, which is expected to open in late November, Mims said.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.