Sara Mathews

Image Courtesy of Carissa Simmons Moore


Spirit Award

Highlands Homecoming 2020  

Sara Mathews, founder of the successful Borracho’s Craft Booze and Brews LLC business in Las Vegas, received the Spirit Award for her dedication to the Las Vegas community and Highlands.

Mathews grew up north of Las Vegas on a ranch riding horses and participating in 4-H and FFA. She said traveling as an adult made her realize how special and unique the community is, fueling her desire to open a business in her hometown.

“I first dipped my toes into the service industry working at the Plaza Hotel as a busser when I was 15 and really liked it,” said Mathews, who worked at several restaurants and night clubs in Albuquerque and Las Cruces before finding her way home.

“My father is an entrepreneur and I always knew I wanted to own my own business. A space opened up next to El Rialto restaurant in Las Vegas and I established a relationship with the owners, the García’s. I began my own bar management LLC at age 27 and Borracho’s was born in February 2016. This little bar has grown beyond my wildest dreams,” Mathews said.

Mathews said her business works hard to promote local musicians, artists and craft beer.

“I feel it’s important to invest in the community. Operating Borracho’s comes from a place of gratitude and repaying kindness back to the community,” Mathews said.

Mathews is community leader, ranging from serving as vice president on the board of directors for Main Street de Las Vegas to founding Las Vegas Vegabounds – an organization that came into being during the COVID-19 pandemic and has raised and distributed more than $30,000 to community members in need.

Corie Weaver, director of advancement services in the Highlands Foundation, nominated Mathews for the Spirit Award.

“Sara’s talents and personality could take her anywhere, but she chooses to remain in the community that raised her because she knows she can make a difference,” Weaver said. “Her business is thriving due to her creativity and warm generosity to the community.”

Weaver said that Mathews recognizes the importance of the community’s relationship with Highlands University.

“Sara has done everything she can to support our Highlands campus community in addition to the greater Las Vegas and northern New Mexico communities,” Weaver said.

“Highlands keeps culture rich in our Las Vegas community and makes education accessible,” said Mathews, who attended both UNM and Highlands. “I believe Highlands is our ladder out of poverty. Highlands has provided me with so many unique special event opportunities, especially with the HU Foundation, where I get to challenge myself creatively and professionally. I love and live for special events.”

On June 16, Mathews had another opportunity to step up for her community when she was asked to M.C. a prayer vigil for George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

“It’s time to say enough of systemic racism. It’s time for people like me to use our voice. I’m proud of you Las Vegas. Let’s be on the right side of history,” Mathews said.