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The Rebound of a Rural Mountain Town

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

SF Reporter

On a summer morning at the Enchanted Grounds Espresso Bar and Cafe in this quaint Northern New Mexico town, owner Katie Feldman greeted her usual eclectic blend of customers. The Raton police chief and a couple of officers stopped by, as did the head of the local biker's club, a family of tourists and the Colfax County manager. Feldman’s father had worked there when it was a bar named the Silver Dollar; Feldman had studied at the coffee shop when she was in high school. She and her sister, Jessica Barfield, bought the business in April.

“A lot of people think I’m crazy for investing in Raton, but I think this is the perfect time,” said Feldman, 25, who returned to her small town after attending college. “I think Raton is about to explode and more people are going to invest here.”

She’s not the only one who believes this. In the last year, two other restaurants, an aviation training school, a yoga studio, a technical trades education center and a custom knife manufacturer have opened. A renovated historic hotel opened Oct. 28 across from the newly beautified train depot. A brewery is scheduled to open in 2017 in one of Raton’s many historic downtown buildings. A Domino’s Pizza is taking over a formerly boarded up and abandoned Kentucky Fried Chicken building. An organic food cooperative is in the works. Established businesses, like Pappas Sweet Shop Restaurant and Solano’s Boot and Western Wear, survived the economic upheavals of the last decade and are seeing an influx of new customers.


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