A visit to Clovis, New Mexico, a city of 37,000 on the state’s eastern border with Texas, is a reminder of the past with an eye to the future. The connection between the two gives the town a special brand of cool, says Kala Adair, entrepreneur and owner of the Firehouse Workspace, a new coworking and studio space.
I love the history in Clovis, especially the old buildings downtown. That’s why I bought what was the first fire station and city hall from the early 1900s. The Firehouse Workspace takes its name from the building’s original purpose. It’s mind-boggling to think that they were keeping horses and wagons in the building. My plans for the other part of the building, the original city hall, is to offer short-term rental apartments, as well as a second location of Blackwater Coffee Company. This is how we’re making downtown attractive to visitors, whether they have a professional or personal purpose for visiting. It’s really starting to grow and blossom.
We’ve got the best parts of a small town with the best parts of a bigger city. Our high-speed fiber internet is great for everyone, especially our military and their spouses at Cannon Air Force Base, who increasingly bring their jobs with them. That’s part of the reason for the Firehouse Workspace, to take advantage of the ability to work remotely with ease. It’s the future, yet we’re housed in this historic, newly renovated building.
Clovis is a little bit country, a bit city, a bit railroad, military, ranching, and farming. If you like hunting for collectibles and old things like I do, whether old music or ranch or railroad and military memorabilia, we’ve got several great shops like Bullet Bob Has It. We also recently had an old restaurant come back to life—Guadalajara Restaurant . It was a grocery store in the 1950s, then became a restaurant and closed in the early 2000s. The grandson of the original owner came back to reopen it. If you want something authentically Clovis, get the sopaipillas or the enchiladas with an egg on top.
One of my favorite things about Clovis is the Draggin’ Main Music Festival in the summer, another resurrection of a tradition from the 1950s. My father-in-law has a 1957 Bel Air, and I’ve got a maroon 1967 Mustang, and we’re renovating a ’59 Chevy “big window” Apache truck. It’s so much fun to get in these classic cars.
Draggin’ Main has taken on a life of its own. Everybody gets into it. It’s a multi-generational event with food, vendors and music that attracts people from all across this part of the country. Everybody gets nostalgic about their earlier years driving slowly around town with the windows open, stopping to talk.
There are a lot of business owners like me who are very involved in the life of Clovis and have made a conscious decision to raise their families here. Clovis is a friendly place that welcomes anybody. For example, when a traveling circus came during the Great Depression and went out of business here, the residents rescued the animals! That’s the reason we have the Hillcrest Park Zoo, the second biggest in the state.