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NMED suspends food service permits for three Farmington restaurant locations

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times

AZTEC — Food service permits for three Farmington restaurant locations have been suspended after the owners continued indoor dining service following a public health order that prohibited dining inside restaurants.

The New Mexico Environment Department announced on July 17 that it has suspended food permits for Los Hermanitos and TJs Diner. Both Los Hermanitos locations — 2400 W. Main St. and 3560 E. Main St. — had their permits suspended.

Casey’s Restaurant in Hobbs also had its permit suspended.

“These restaurants are operating in violation of state food safety laws and must cease all operations immediately,” the press release from NMED states.

TJs Diner was one of three Farmington restaurants that had their food service permits suspended.

If the owners continue to operate, NMED could pursue legal action against them.

TJs Diner owner Nathan Hill said he could not provide much comment because it is in litigation. He said the restaurant has applied for a permit from the city to allow outdoor dining using the public right of way, but has not yet received one.

"We're just going to stay the course and go from there," he said.

Because TJs does not have a large parking lot and its doors open almost directly onto a public right of way, it has faced unique challenges and will need the city permit to offer outdoor dining.

Pizza Inn locations in Carlsbad and Hobbs as well as the Trinity Hotel in Carlsbad previously had their food service permits suspended but continued to operate. The press release states that NMED is pursuing further enforcement measures against those restaurants.

The press release states that the food service permits may be reinstated if they correct the violations, which would require outside dining or pick-up and delivery options.

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