Perhaps the phrase “If you build it, they will come” applies to restaurants as well as baseball fields. Josie and Teako Nunn have spent the last three years building their business, Sparky’s Burgers, Barbecue, and Espresso, in Hatch, New Mexico. The delicious food and fun atmosphere have brought it to the attention of a number of media outlets. It was recently mentioned in Sunset magazine with a larger article coming this fall, and featured in segments on KRWG-TV Newsmakers, Explore! New Mexico’s radio show, and Spicy RV, along with rave reviews in newspapers and on lots of travel and food websites.
Recently, they were contacted by the producers of an upcoming Discovery Channel show, “Road Eats.” A film crew will descend upon the funky eatery on Wednesday, February 2, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. to film the staff and diners. This is a day the restaurant is usually closed, so Sparky’s fans are encouraged to take time to come enjoy a meal that day and perhaps be able to see themselves on the Discovery Channel show when it is aired.
Sparky’s has received attention lately not only for its delicious smoked barbecue ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and green chile cheeseburgers (a must in the chile capital of the world!), but even international news coverage for the oversized statues that grace the building’s grounds - and the roof. Visitors pose with Colonel Sanders, who sits on a bench, or Ronald McDonald, and snap photos of the A & W Root Beer family that is perched on the roof. A giant rooster sits across the street pointing the way to the barbecue joint, which also features a wide variety of coffee drinks and shakes, with fun names like “Stellar Madness” and “Hot Chocolate Rocket.”
Sparky’s was recently expanded to allow room for more patrons to dine and to add a stage. The Nunns wanted to offer live music to make the atmosphere even more festive and engaging, so now on Sundays they have bands playing while folks enjoy their barbecue and coffee. Music is performed Sundays from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Sparky’s Green Chile Room.
“It’s been fun doing this. Sparky’s started as a hobby and we even thought we could run the restaurant part-time, but it has turned into a full-time adventure,” says Josie Nunn.
Regular restaurant hours are Monday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, they stay open until 7:30 p.m. They are closed Tuesday and Wednesday, except when Discovery Channel comes calling. The restaurant is located at 115 Franklin Street in Hatch. For more information on Sparky’s Burgers, Barbecue and Espresso, check their website at www.sparkysburgers.com.
- Posted by Cheryl Fallstead