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DiGregory and Fenton open the Range in 1992, Bernalillo, prior to its burning down in 1995

Tom Fenton (left) and Matt DiGregory enjoy twenty years of good cooking at the Range

The Range Café celebrates two decades easily

To longtime Placitas, Bernalillo, Sandoval County, and Albuquerque residents—as well as tourists—the Range Café is nothing short of a culinary New Mexico icon. The folks at all three of the Range Café locations have been making thousands of diners happy with questions like “red, green, or Christmas?” for two decades.
Local restaurateurs Matt DiGregory and Tom Fenton started the original Range Café on September 2, 1992, in a small, funky 2,200-square-foot-adobe building on the main drag in Bernalillo. Following a devastating fire in 1995, the Range Café moved to its current location in 1996 and has since expanded to an 8,500-square-foot restaurant with a full bar, live music, art gallery, and gift shop. Over the years, two additional (and thriving) locations were added in Albuquerque.

All three locations offer the same menu—one that DiGregory likes to call “eclectic comfort food.” After more than fifteen years of guests begging for specific recipes and large take-out containers of their homemade red and green chile, DiGregory and Fenton have finally created both a private label chile line and a glossy, hardcover “At Home with the Range Cafe” cookbook that’s now in its second printing.

DiGregory credits part of his and Fenton’s success to a joint commitment to food-product quality, and also a recognition that they both have truly unique skills and strengths that they bring to completely different areas of the business.

At the Bernalillo location, customers notice more than the food four nights a week; they notice the live music and that that, says DiGregory, is all Fenton’s doing. “Tom is the lead guitarist for the Range Café house band—the DeRangers—which hosts our open microphone nights every Thursday. Tom’s also the guy who’s able to bring in outside acts you normally don’t see in smaller venues: names like (jazz musician) Mose Allison, Grammy nominated saxaphonist Greg Abate, and guitarist Rick Derringer.”

The standing-room-only popularity of the music nights in Bernalillo has prompted Fenton and DiGregory to consider enlarging the seventy-seat music venue in early 2013, and they’re also responding to customer demand for Range Café cuisine further south of current locations by considering West Albuquerque or Los Lunas as possible 2014 expansions.

“We’ve been very, very fortunate in this economy to have such a loyal customer base and we’re really aware of it,” acknowledges DiGregory. “We’ve spent two decades building relationships—with our customers, with our staff, and with our hometowns of Placitas, Bernalillo, and Albuquerque—and we’re looking forward to continuing that tradition for at least another two decades.”

The Range Cafés are located in Bernalillo at 925 Camino Del Pueblo, and in Albuquerque at 2200 Menaul Boulevard and 4401 Wyoming Boulevard. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at all three locations, seven days a week. A list of calendar events for the Bernalillo location can be found on the restaurants’ website at: www.rangecafe.com.


La Puerta Real Estate Services, LLC, held a flea market in July to benefit Casa Rosa Food Bank. The community was asked to bring donations and Casa Rosa volunteers sorted and priced the items. The flea market earned Casa Rosa just over $2,500. Casa Rosa's Board of Directors expressed gratitude to La Puerta for hosting the flea market and to members of the community for their donations as well as their participation in the sale.


“Careers to the Future” job fair a success

—Nick Vuillemot, Greater Sandoval County Chamber of Commerce

Earlier this month, a group of people did something to reduce unemployment in Sandoval County. Lorraine Ruggles, with the New Mexico Workforce Connection, Myra Roosevelt, Principal of Independence Highschool in Rio Rancho, Maurice Ross, Executive Director for Rio Rancho Public Schools, and Nick Vuillemot, IOM,Executive Director of the Greater Sandoval County Chamber of Commerce (GSCCC) teamed up to produce the “Careers to the Future” Job Fair at Independence High School in Rio Rancho on August 1. During this short three-hour window, over 317 jobseekers showed up to talk with 41 employers who were looking to hire people. Over one-third of the jobseekers found positions and many more will be getting offers in the future.

The GSCCC would like to thank all the employers, schools, job seekers, and media that helped make this event such a success.

We plan to team up again in either February or March of 2013 to have another “Careers to the Future event.”

 
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