LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - It's been nearly a year since New Mexico bars closed their doors to the public.
"It's so sad to walk in there and see what it was," said Alex Macias, the owner of Rad Retrocade in Las Cruces. "The community loved it. "It's been very sad."
When Covid-19 arrived in the United States, Macias voluntarily closed his bar. One week later, the state ordered all bars to close.
"My wife and I decided, if we didn't want to take our families in there, we didn't expect anybody else to take their families in there," he said. "That's when we decided to close our doors."
The bar employed 60 part-time and full-time employees, according to the Scott Johnson, the general manager.
"I'm stuck with a mortgage and I'm struggling to pay my bills," said Johnson, who moved to Las Cruces three months before the closure. "I had never been unemployed."
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, unemployment claims increased over the past week across the state.
"As bad as this is economically, we have our lives," said Bill McCamley, the secretary for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. "We can get back and we can rebuild. We just need to keep together as a community keep our heads up."
Macias and Johnson did object to the state's decision to reopen breweries while keeping bars closed.
"It is very discomforting to know that our whole livelihood is in Rad, but at the end of the day, people need to be safe," said Macias, whose family lost several relatives to Covid-19. "Communities need to be safe. The public needs to be safe. Our employees need to be safe."
"We have all had enough, but the virus hasn't had enough of us yet," McCamley said.