NMSU cantina-style restaurant wins national college dining award - Albuquerque Journal

NMSU cantina-style restaurant wins national college dining award

Students enjoy live music at Pete’s Patio. (Josh Bachman/New Mexico State University)

New Mexico State University has reopened a space where students, staff and town residents can all gather for fun and food.

Pete’s Patio, named for NMSU mascot Pistol Pete, recently reopened and has earned national recognition. The cantina-style restaurant was forced to close for more than a year because of the pandemic.

The National Association of College and University Food Services awarded Pete’s Patio the Loyal E. Horton Dining Award bronze for retail sales, medium institution. This category looks at locations on colleges campuses with innovative features and techniques. According to the association website the award “celebrates exemplary menus, presentations, special event planning and new dining concepts.”

Pete’s opened in 2019 and faced an uncertain future and although it’s located outdoors, NMSU dining services general manager Dwayne Wisniewski said they put off opening as a precaution. There were also far less students and staff on campus to serve.

He said the place was designed with students in mind.

“The whole idea is to be student-centric,” he said. “It’s located near living arrangements and they can walk to and from their place of living.”

Pete’s is located in a patio outside the Corbett Center Student Union building and has a walk-up window. There are trees, a fountain, couches and dining tables burrowed into the outdoor space.

Candice Nanco, director of marketing for dining services, said the award committee looks at how the space and business functions as a place where the entire campus community can gather.

“Pete’s is a place where people meet each other that might not have met each other otherwise,” she said. “Staff, students and the local community can mingle there. We have variety of offerings and make sure it includes something for everyone.”

Pete’s Patio at New Mexico State University offers a full bar with craft cocktails. (Josh Bachman/New Mexico State University)

The student newspaper and student-run radio station sponsor weekly events at the venue including trivia, football watch parties and $5 pizza night. This spring semester they will introduce a weekly bingo night.

The eatery has a full-service bar and varied menu. The bar serves up craft cocktails and local beer including university collaborations Bosque Brewing Co.’s Pistol Pete’s 1888 ale, Lescombes Family Vineyards’ Pistol Pete’s Crimson Legacy, Dry Point Distillers’ Pistol Pete’s Six-Shooter whiskey and Cantera Negra tequila.

Coinciding with the reopening, Pete’s Patio introduced a new menu with traditional bar food offerings. There are pizzas, burgers, and appetizers such as wings, tacos, nachos and chile cheese fries.

“Pete’s Patio’s popularity has reached a new level in the fall semester,” Nanco said. “The addition of daily events and specials has really boosted attendance.”

Pete’s Patio is open Monday through Friday from 3 to 10 p.m. and closed on weekends.

Home » Blogs » NMSU cantina-style restaurant wins national college dining award


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
11-year-old joins fight to help the homeless
ABQnews Seeker
'I didn't know kids at my ... 'I didn't know kids at my school could be homeless,' Russell explains
2
ABQ Beer Week returns with events running from May ...
Blogs
The kickoff party will be held ... The kickoff party will be held from 4-7 p.m. May 26 at Bubba's 33.
3
10 projects picked for the New Voices New Mexico ...
Blogs
The training program starts in May ... The training program starts in May and will be conducted in three phases lasting a total of six months.
4
Pets aren't toys; they're part of the family
Blogs
As COVID-19 concerns have waned, many ... As COVID-19 concerns have waned, many pets are losing their homes and humans
5
Taste of Nob Hill returns to prepandemic format
Blogs
The event will take place between ... The event will take place between noon-3 p.m. Saturday, May 21 on Silver Avenue SE, between Tulane and Amherst.
6
UpFront: Early advocates are angry, ready to rally again ...
ABQnews Seeker
'I'm so so angry at the ... 'I'm so so angry at the direction of our country'
7
Don't let Mother remain a mystery
ABQnews Seeker
I wish I had spent more ... I wish I had spent more time hearing what she was like as a girl, her hopes and dreams, if she was funny, wild, ...
8
'¡Colores!' chronicles the Santa Fe Opera bringing 'The Lord ...
Blogs
The series will air the one-hour ... The series will air the one-hour special, 'Creating a World Premiere at the Santa Fe Opera,' at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12 on New ...
9
Hatch and Las Cruces featured in Discovery+ series 'Taste ...
Blogs
Claudia Sandoval left her heart in ... Claudia Sandoval left her heart in Hatch. The acclaimed chef brought her series, 'Taste of the Border' to Hatch and Las Cruces for an ...