A few quiet months have passed for Red Door Brewing since the last announcement regarding a taproom. In this case, though, it is not a new taproom on deck, but a taproom on the move.
Confused? Well, we sat down with owner Matt Biggs and brewer Matt Meier to figure out just what is going on with the location at the corner of Gold and Fourth Street on the ground floor of the Simms Building.
“We decided we weren’t doing enough when it comes to taprooms, so we decided why not uproot and move another one?” Meier said.
He was joking. Sort of.
The taproom will be on the move to 509 Central Ave. NW, a block north and a block west of its current spot. The space was previously Zullo’s Bistro, and before that it was Blackbird Buvette.
“More people knew it as Blackbird, I think,” Biggs said. “That’s more of our (goal) as well, taking it back to that vibe, which was a real cool place to hang out, that was kind of trendy, but also really relaxed. It has a phenomenal patio.”
The most unique aspect of the spot has to do with licensing.
“It comes with a full liquor license, which wasn’t something that we sought out,” Biggs said. “That was something the landlord wanted to stay with the building. We were like, sure. The more we think about it, the more appealing it is. As far as I know, it’s not a thing yet, a brewery with a full liquor license, a true brewery with a full liquor license.”
Red Door will be able to sell its own beer and cider, plus wine and cocktails.
“Hopefully we’ll be highlighting some of the craft distilleries around town,” Biggs said. “We’ll have a specific craft distillery menu in addition to well stuff like Jack Daniels, Grey Goose, the whole gamut. Hopefully what we’re going to do is have them come up with signature cocktails with their own (spirits).”
Because that license is already in place, Red Door will be able to keep the Simms location open with its small brewer off-site license right up until the day the Central space reopens.
“So the liquor license leasing process is actually shorter than getting a new license,” Biggs said. “In theory it’s a relatively quick process. The property is owned by some of the same partners that own our current location. They gave us the go ahead to vacate our previous premise at basically the exact same time we open the new one. It will be an immediate process. We won’t get hit doubly with rent.”
When the paperwork on the transfer of the license is done, the process will be fairly simple.
“As soon as the license comes through, we’re going to pick up all of our furniture and walk it up the block,” Biggs said. “What’s funny is we can’t do it with the beer. This is a weird caveat to have full liquor, we have to go through the three-tier system until we get an off-site license going at that place. We won’t be able to do growlers and we won’t be able to sell ourselves our own beer. Our distributor is going to have to sell us our own beer. It’s dumb. … It’s just one more quirk of New Mexico liquor laws.”
All right, that is rather odd, but New Mexico is gonna New Mexico sometimes.
One issue from the Blackbird era was with the draft lines, which run from the walk-in cooler under the floor to the bar area. They were difficult to keep clean, to say the least.
“Worst case, we’re going to poison the shit out of them, burn the inside,” Biggs said.
“The draft lines look like they’ve been replaced in the last few years,” Meier said. “If they were bad at Blackbird, they’ve been replaced since (it closed).
“It looks like those are something we can work with right now.”
“Obviously if it’s an issue, it can be replaced pretty quick,” Biggs added.
The space on Central also comes with a kitchen, and Red Door will be entering into a unique partnership to run that.
“A kitchen with a to-be-announced food truck,” Biggs said. “I think they want it to be a surprise. We told them we wouldn’t tell yet. The truck is going to permanently operate the kitchen that is on site. They’re going to continue to do their food truck, too, but they’re going to be our food vendor inside. They’re excited to push, even more than we are, a late-night crowd, to have some after-bar food options. It’s going to be interesting, it’s going to be weird, we’re going to have figure some things out.”
Red Door will keep many of the popular weekly events from the current taproom and move those to Central. All in all, it will still be a Red Door taproom, but unique in its own way.
When the food truck partner is ready to go public, we will be sure to share the news. When the opening date is announced, we will share that, too. Until then, thanks to Matt and Matt for the interview and the beer.
Now we will just have to see how long until the next taproom-related news drops around town.