Restaurant owner vows she’s staying

Connie Rios, an employee at Da’s Tailor Shop & Dry Cleaning, folds a pair of U.S. Air Force pants Wednesday at the shop across U.S. Highway 60/84. Rios said on a busy day she will press over 200 uniforms. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer

Although the customers at her Thai-food restaurant are predominantly Cannon Air Force Base personnel, Saeng Soule said she plans to stay open whether the base closes or not.

Located about a half-mile north of the base, Soule said 80 percent of her business at Saeng’s Orient restaurant is Air-Force related.

Soule said the business she opened in November 1997 is paid for, which makes the decision to stay open easier.

“My lunch crowd is entirely Air Force,” Soule said. “I get people from Melrose and Portales during dinner hours.”

Soule said she plans to leave her business exactly the way it is for now.

“They may not close,” Soule said. “I am just going to wait and see.”

The Base Closure and Realignment Commission may decide Cannon’s fate sometime today.

Juanita Matthews of Da’s Tailor & Dry Cleaning on U.S. 84 said the business will leave if Cannon is closed.

“We will just shut down,” Matthews said. “It will be sad.”

The only services they offer are cleaning and altering of service uniforms, Matthews said.

She said the business would probably move to some place like Albuquerque.

“We will go where another base is,” Matthews said. “But right now we will just have to wait and see like everyone else.”