Makeover draws community support

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By Carol A. Clark

Refusing to let another business go under, residents are launching an emergency makeover on Daylight Delights. Community leader Mike Luna came up with the idea and likened it to an Amish barn-raising.

 “When someone’s barn burns down in the Amish community, they all band together to build a new one,” Luna said. “Melinda and Kevin (Albright) are struggling and something has to be done to help keep their business open.”

People are coming forward to contribute time, talent - even decorative materials, as news of the makeover spreads.

“Steve Shaw of Mosaic will donate his time and architectural expertise to help redesign the restaurant’s interior,” Luna said. “Cheryl Sowder from The Finishing Touch is donating some materials and I’m working with Sara Lemons of Cisco Foods to come up with a menu design concept.”

Luna explained he wanted to keep the makeover a local effort and discarded the idea of going to Home Depot or Lowe’s for help.

Community members willing to supply elbow grease or to contribute expert advice in areas relevant to the makeover are encouraged to join the unique project, he said.

So many things are needed to accomplish the makeover, Luna said. Simple things such as a box of nails or a case of floor tile are needed, he said, and once a theme is selected, new plates, silverware, curtains and tablecloths will also be appreciated.

“Katy Korkos from the Chamber is excited about our makeover concept and is helping bring some experts in to assist us in marketing the establishment more,” Luna said.

Korkos, the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce member services coordinator, spoke of the community involvement aspect of the makeover, saying, “It’s the restaurants and gathering places that contribute to the quality of life in a town and if we love our community, we will support our restaurants.”

Tina Martinez, an employee at Daylight Delights, is working with Luna to develop the restaurant’s menu, which will be Italian and offer the classics.

“Manicotti, ravioli, lasagna – we’ll have the works,” Luna said.

Kevin and Melinda Albright have owned Daylight Delights at 112 Central Park Square since 2001. They also own Morning Glory Bakery on Diamond Drive across from Los Alamos High School.

“We’ll serve plenty of fresh Italian bread in the restaurant and continue to offer donuts and pastries at the bakery,” Melinda said.

She calls the makeover concept refreshing and said it’s pulling people together and showing Los Alamos does care about keeping local businesses in business.

Melinda and Kevin thank the community for rallying around them in their time of need. They want the name of their new restaurant to come from the community.

“Our business hasn’t been going as well as we had hoped for some time and we still have three years left on our lease,” she said. “It’s a nice location – granted it’s tired right now – and it needs something fresh to bring people in.”

Luna is working hard to make that happen. A life-long Los Alamos resident, he currently serves on the Family YMCA Board and Los Alamos County’s 60th Anniversary Committee and volunteers with other organizations.

“I love it here,” he said. “This is a terrific town and I want to see it improve.”

Anyone who wants to work on the makeover project, donate materials or suggest a name for the new restaurant, can call Luna at 661-6212 or 920-3804.