A little while back, via various newspapers and their websites, Marble Brewery announced where its relocated taproom would be going in Santa Fe after they lost their lease on the Plaza.
They would be moving into the new Luna Development at 505 Cerrillos Road, taking a downstairs space soon and then later moving into a larger, upstairs space.
This totally made sense to us, but … wait, what? Move and then move again?
We were a tad confused about the whole situation, so on a slow Tuesday morning, I trekked over to the Marble offices (which are on 2nd Street, just around the corner from the brewery) to talk to co-founder Jeff Jinnett about just what is going on in the City Different.
“We needed to replace that taproom and we wanted to stay close enough to downtown where we could still be a beer tourist destination, but the thought was to go farther away from the Plaza to appeal more to locals,” Jeff said. “Locals tend to stay away from the Plaza.
“I was looking at this Luna development and I met the developer, Ken Joseph. I really like him. I like what he’s doing there. The feel of the development is really good. It’s old brick and wood and steel. It just has this high quality, rustic appeal to it. I thought the location is a good compromise, close enough to downtown where you can walk to it and you can walk to the Railyard, but far enough away from the Plaza where you have to want to go there to go there, in other words. So I think we’ll have a more beer-centric focus rather than a location-centric focus.”
The main plan for Marble was to take over the upstairs of one of the buildings, with the Tecolote Cafe taking the downstairs. That site, though, requires a full reconstruction, with the restaurant having priority before the upstairs area is ready to go. The idea of waiting an entire year to open a new taproom did not sit well with Marble, but thankfully they came up with a Plan B.
“So the developer actually suggested a smaller, pop-up location in a downstairs retail space that’s already basically finished except for pouring the floor, which is good because we can put drains in it and what not,” Jeff said. “(It’s about) 1,100 square feet. Nothing special, sort of a shotgun, long, skinny location. We can put in almost a 40-foot long bar and get up and running and have beer on tap in Santa Fe and get people used to going to that location. Have that place open up I think by March. We’re in the process of getting the license, that’s what takes the time. But the developer is working with us to put in a nice little spot.”
The entrance to the temporary taproom and the future location are only about 30 feet apart, so Marble’s Santa Fe followers should easily get used to the Luna complex.
Jeff described the temporary taproom as “cozy,” with a long bar, a standing counter, and a few tables inside plus a small patio of three to four tables just outside the front entrance. There will be a smaller cooler for storing six-packs and bombers for people to purchase and take home. Throw in a few televisions and it will be a solid, but small site for people to continue to enjoy their favorite Marble beers in the state capital.
As for the permanent taproom, the Marble staff has a grand vision. With 2,500 square feet of space, it has the potential to easily accommodate 70 to 80 people at a time. There will be a large balcony overlooking Cerrillos with plenty more tables. The blueprints that Jeff showed me were a little out of date (thus no picture), but the basic concept remained the same, he said.
“It’s a two-level taproom,” he said. “Conceptually it will be like this. It will be a long bar, on a raised, upper platform with seating. Then there will be a ramp down to a lower area where we can do some live entertainment. Obviously it’s a larger interior space than we (had) in Santa Fe. This becomes the patio out here. We have our beer walk-in (cooler) right behind the bar. We have our own restrooms. We didn’t have our own at the old location.”
In addition, Jeff said he hopes to work things out with the Tecolote Cafe downstairs for a system where people can order food and have it easily delivered to the taproom.
For the temporary taproom, there will be a sandwich shop next door, so patrons can enjoy food with their beer there, as well.
Overall, the Marble staff is looking forward to attracting more of that “beer-centric” crowd, first at the temporary taproom and then at the permanent site upstairs.
“I think that the vibe will be more like we have (in Albuquerque), where people are here because of the beer, or because they want to socialize around beer, or they know what they’re getting themselves into when they come here,” Jeff said. “The staff would complain a lot, ‘If I have to tell one more person that we don’t have margaritas, we don’t have Coronas, I’m going to kill them.’ Whereas we don’t have that problem here.”
The Crew will try to make the trek up to Santa Fe in March to check out the temporary taproom, and as always, we will keep you all updated on any changes or further developments for Marble.