A Blake’s Lotaburger is scheduled to open its first Roswell location on North Main Street this summer. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

A New Mexico-based fast-food chain will open its first location in Roswell this summer, with hiring expected to begin in late spring.

Blake’s Lotaburger is opening a restaurant and drive-through at 3017 N. Main St. The property has been a vacant lot for several years, but formerly was the site of a lounge and packaged liquor establishment.

Blake’s has owned the land for a while, but wasn’t ready to open a restaurant until the organization felt the time was right, according to a company spokesperson.

“A lot of factors were considered,” said Lannie Ziemann, director of media for the company. “There were a lot of moving parts and a lot of adjustments to our look, our menu and our training.”

The restaurant is expected to hire 35 to 40 people, including a general manager, she said. Hiring should begin by late April.

Brycon of Albuquerque will be doing the construction, and the store will feature a new design, described as a family-friendly interior by Marketing Administrator Alice Skousen.

“It is a completely new look for us,” added Ziemann. “It is a new interior, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a variety of seating.” She added that restaurant capacity will be 65 people.

Blake’s offers primarily a burgers and fries menu, but also plans to introduce some new items this spring. Skousen said that it is also known for its chile cheeseburgers, which use a proprietary variety of Hatch chile.

The company owns all of its restaurants, which Skousen says now number 75. Most are in New Mexico, but three are in El Paso, Texas, and three are in Tucson, Arizona.

“From social media alone, we have been flooded with requests to come to Roswell,” said Ziemann, “so we are happy to be able to meet the requests of our followers and open a location there.”

Skousen and Ziemann said that they consider Blake’s and Roswell to be a good fit because both are “iconic” names in New Mexico. Skousen also indicates that its signage here could include some kind of nod to extraterrestrials or UFOs.

Roswell has seen a few other well-known fast-food and casual food brands come in the last couple of years, including a Dunkin’-Baskin Robbins, an A&W restaurant and a Dion’s pizza and sandwich restaurant under construction on South Main Street. At the same time, other known brands have left the city, including a combined Carl’s Jr. and Green Burrito restaurant and a Schlotzsky’s sandwich shop.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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