It’s 9 a.m. at the newly opened Lily and Liam Bistro at 1751 NM 528 across the street from Intel, as a steady stream of customers wait to be seated.
A fine mist of aroma from the kitchen fills the dining area just before co-owners and married couple James and Megan Garrigan prepare to sit down and discuss their inspiration for opening one of Rio Rancho’s newest businesses.
“This is our first venture into opening our own restaurant, and we are excited with the results,” Megan said.
Open for two weeks, Megan and James verified that they have already established a good customer base, including a few repeat diners impressed with the cuisine.
James said he has worked as a cook for 20 years in various culinary establishments, including Rio Rancho’s own Joe’s Pasta House.
“A lot of planning went into this venture,” James said. “But we saw the need for a good breakfast and lunch place, and I think we really found a good location for one.”
The couple took a former Subway sandwich shop and retrofit the 1,210-square-foot space to accommodate nearly a dozen tables.
“We really just kept everything the same as it was when it was Subway, only we re-did the floors and the walls and put our own little touches on it with new furniture,” Megan said.
In fact, the entire south wall of the bistro is still set up with the original Subway service line and refrigerator.
According to James, the biggest investment he and his wife made was purchasing a new ventilation hood for $20,000.
“Outside of that, the rest of the remodel was basically $10,000 to $15,000 out of pocket,” he said.