The abrupt closure of Red Door’s taproom at Wyoming and Comanche caught many people by surprise last Friday, but it had actually been the culmination of a month-long disagreement. During a stop at the main brewery to talk about the upcoming fourth anniversary party on Sept. 14, I learned a little more about the reason behind the taproom’s closure from owner Matt Biggs.
It all boiled down to a clause in the lease with 3517 Wyoming LLC, the landlord, that stated that Red Door would have the only taproom in the complex, Matt said. Meanwhile, next door, Poki Poki Cevicheria was expanding into adjacent suites in the building, but it was not a restaurant expansion. Poki Poki put in a boba bar in one suite, and what appeared to be a taproom in the next.
In the eyes of Red Door, that was a violation of the lease, Matt said. Red Door and the landlord tried to work a resolution for pretty much the entire month of August, but when they reached an impasse, Matt made the decision to shut down the taproom. Red Door filed a complaint in district court on Tuesday, beginning a lengthy legal process to reach a solution with 3517 Wyoming LLC. The LLC’s listed manager is Steve Coe, of the developer Coe & Peterson.
It is another sign of the difficulties in leasing commercial properties in Albuquerque.
To counter the bad news, Red Door also had some good news to share. Matt said the brewery recently signed an agreement for distribution with Premier.
“We balanced the pain of losing our taproom with this agreement,” Matt said.
For now, it will only be keg distribution, but Matt said “they want us to put the beer in cans.” That will take time to set up, but the current plan will be to start with Mother Road Mobile Canning and go from there. Matt and head brewer Matt Meier are working with Premier to figure out which beers to can, and then they will see what sells best and stick with that going forward.
We wish Red Door the best of luck going forward, both with distribution and with sorting out everything with its former taproom landlord. We will have more on the upcoming anniversary party next week.
9 Comments Add yours
Matanza Westside closed? They’ve been open for barely a year (if that). Any more details on that?
We had no idea it had happened until Matt informed us. The westside location has been removed from Matanza’s website. There’s no Facebook page, but there really isn’t one for the Nob Hill one, either. The Journal and Business First haven’t written about it. Guess it also shows how infrequently any of us are in that area of town, save for visiting Boxing Bear and Toltec.
Red Door is getting horrible advice. A “tap room” has a specific legal definition in the state of NM. Perhaps you should ask Matt Biggs whether or not Poki Poki actually meets that criteria? I can tell you that it does not and Red Door doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this matter.
A tap room, by definition, doesn’t serve food. So how can Red Door sit here and try to argue that Poki Poki is suddenly a tap room because they added a few more taps to their restaurant?
Red Door is gonna lose this in court, I guarantee it.
It has a separate entrance from the restaurant. There’s even a wall between the taproom and restaurant. That fits the taproom description.
I’m sorry but an additional entrance is irrelevant. There is a difference between selling beer out of a tap and being classified as a tap room. Apparently this is hard to understand?
Poki Poki increased their square footage and added more beer taps, that’s it. That does not change their classification in any way. You can sit at their new bar top and order a Poke bowl and tacos, they are not suddenly a tap room now.
Despite what Red Door may be saying, this exclusive “tap room” clause in Red Door’s lease has in no way been violated by the landlord. Poki Poki has been selling beer this entire time, before and after their expansion.
So you work for Poki! Now it makes sense. Red Door stressed they’re not mad at your place, just at the landlord.
I don’t work for Poki and Red Door should only be mad at itself. It’s not cool to drag the landlord thru the mud when they did nothing wrong at all.