El Camino employee never had a bad day

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Known for making the best margaritas in town at El Camino Restaurant, Dora Lucero is retiring after 44 years of serving customers.

Lucero, 66, has decided it is time to travel and be with family, she said. Lucero was a bartender and waitress and worked seven days a week. She never called in sick, and her vacation days were used to see her family in Colorado.

She said every day working at the restaurant was a new day and she enjoyed meeting new people. Lucero had regular customers at 5 p.m. and knew all her customers’ families.

“I never had a bad day,” Lucero said. “If you have a bad day, keep it at home.”

Lucero liked working at El Camino Restaurant because she met people from all over the United States — from California to New York, Florida and Alaska, she said.

The thing she liked the least was workers not showing up. She would have to pick up shifts and sometimes work doubles. Lucero worked at Vagabond Chinese food restaurant, and when Vagabond shut down to remodel in 1968, she applied at El Camino and never went back.

At El Camino, Lucero made the best margaritas in town and earned the title of best bartender in 2002.

Lucero also worked at Socorro schools for 25 years starting in the position of ticket lady, moving up in the kitchen in charge of the salad bar at Sarracino Middle School, and ended her school career at Socorro High School as the kitchen supervisor. Lucero also worked at the Days Inn Golden Manor in the mornings.

Lucero has a daughter, Doreen Baca; son-in-law, Abie Baca; two grandsons, Abie III and Nathaniel; and one great-granddaughter, Audrey Baca.

“I made them (customers) feel comfortable and feel at home, they come from all over,”Lucero said. “I hug everybody, and I make people smile who are in a bad mood. I make them see it is a new day.”

In 1965 Lucero came to Socorro from Springer. What she likes most about Socorro is the climate.

A retirement party for Lucero will be held at El Camino Real Restaurant on Dec. 1 from 5 to 11 p.m. the whole community is invited and everyone is encouraged to come. She said there will be music, food and cake.

Lucero is still strong, full of energy and healthy and will miss everybody, but it was time to go, she said.

“Thank you for everyone who has been my friend, co-worker and my boss,” Lucero said. “I wish them all the best.”