Chef John Chacon works in the kitchen at his new restaurant, Chef Chacon’s Pancake House in Bernalillo. Stephen Montoya photo.

Coming soon to Bernalillo, a new Starbucks, Del Taco and BadAss Coffee is revamping


BERNALILLO — A lot of Bernalillo residents don’t want to settle for a 15-minute drive to Albuquerque or Rio Rancho, just to get a bite to eat.

In fact, 61 percent of them want to see the Town of Bernalillo expand restaurant options in the coming years, according to a recent survey in response to the town’s draft development plan. Additionally, 66 percent of residents said restaurants are needed when it comes to commercial services.

When asked where they go for commercial services, 84 percent said Albuquerque, 71 percent said Rio Rancho and 56 percent do their shopping online.

“They get tired of eating at the same restaurants over and over. That’s normal,” said Mike Kloeppel, Bernalillo’s economic development director. “Everybody just wants something different.”

The demand is very much present.

Kloeppel said a new Del Taco restaurant will be added in the near future, set up in the old Pizza 9 store that had closed. He said BadAss Coffee across from Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel is being upgraded, and Starbucks will add a new location near the intersection of U.S. 550 and Sheriff’s Posse Road.

Kloeppel said the Town of Bernalillo doesn’t actively recruit businesses to set up shop because it doesn’t have the resources. Rather, the town would determine which restaurant looking to expand would be a good fit and pursue them, he said.

And most new eateries are tight-lipped about picking a new location because if they find a spot they like, they don’t want to risk losing that spot to another establishment, he said.

“Restaurants are a fickle business. They want to make sure their location fits what they’re trying to do,” Kloeppel said.

Restaurants also do their own research as to where they want to be because many are franchised, Kloeppel said. He said McDonald’s, for instance, evaluates factors like annual incomes, vehicles people drive and their day-to-day tendencies in a five-mile radius. He also said chains like Chili’s rely on data-driven information to decide whether to add a certain location. Two Chick-fil-A locations, for example, must be a certain distance from each other.

“You can’t put them two blocks away, unless it’s the same franchise owner,” he said.

Kloeppel said the development plan is roughly a “20-year vision” and merely a blueprint to work with. It may go before Town Council around late April, he said.


Range Cafe at 925 Camino Del Pueblo in Bernalillo.
(Observer stock photo)