Rio Rancho resident Chastity Bustos plans to open Whiptail, located at 355 NM 528, next to Days Inn, in early December. Matt Hollinshead photo.

Chastity Bustos couldn’t help but notice the Albuquerque Metro Area, and the rest of New Mexico, for that matter, still lacks eateries featuring an assortment of wines and snacks — also known as tapas.

The Rio Rancho native plans to remedy that by opening Whiptail Eatery in the City of Vision by early December. Whiptail will be at 355 NM 528, next to Days Inn.

“Just waiting on the liquor license, but I’m super excited to get this place open,” the Whiptail owner said. “We’re going to be heavy on educating the locals about wine, different grapes, where they come from, how they pair and why they pair.”

Bustos owns Philly Steaks in east Albuquerque alongside her husband Brian, who will oversee Philly Steaks operations full-time. That way, Bustos will oversee Whiptail full-time.

She said Whiptail’s location is ideal because of the view of the Sandia Mountains. She also said the restaurant’s back patio will feature a fire pit and woven rattan chairs, bringing more of that intimate setting.

Bustos said Whiptail will offer half-price wine bottles once a week, adding she hopes she can spark community interest in wine similar to the way craft beer took off.

Aside from burgers and sandwiches, Whiptail will offer more than 20 food items such as mac and cheese bites, grilled rib eye, deviled eggs, charcuterie meat boards, cheese boards and fresh bread made in-house, as well as fried Brussels sprouts, shishito peppers, grilled asparagus, charred baby carrots and other vegetables.

Bustos said those menu items can be mixed and matched, and options are likely to expand.

“Everything here is going to be focused on freshness,” she said. “We’re playing around with a lot of different stuff, and it’ll be ever-evolving… As our customers get more comfortable with us, we can push the envelope a little bit more to bring that experience (providing) more than just a meal.”

Bustos said the target demographics will include those who work at Intel and may have come from cities like Denver, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., with more of that “food culture.” She also said Rio Rancho residents won’t have to venture to downtown Albuquerque for the type of dining experience Whiptail will provide.

Whiptail will be Bustos’ chance to do business in the place she calls home, just two minutes away from her house, to bring something a bit different to Rio Rancho’s restaurant scene.

Whiptail Eatery, owned and managed by Rio Ranchoan Chasity Bustos, will specialize in snacks and wine. Matt Hollinshead photo.