New-look Nob Hill Bar & Grill aims to become a craft beer haven again

The location is the same, but a lot has changed. (And yes, technology failed us and we didn’t get a picture saved of the new bar area. We will try again soon.)

It was only a few years ago that Nob Hill Bar & Grill was regularly packed with beer geeks, there to enjoy a special tapping, tap takeover, or a giant introductory event for an out-of-state brewery new to town. Quietly, though, those nights seemed to fade away, until most events moved elsewhere.

Well, if the new owners of NHBG have it their way, those nights could return in the future. With a little time between the end of work and the start of Sunday Night Football, I stopped in just for a quick look around, and ended up having a quick conversation with one of those new owners, Jacob Fox, of New Mexico Capital Partners.

The restaurant half of the building is pretty much unchanged, just with some new tables and chairs. The bar, well, that is another story. Most of the bar area is now behind a wall. Fox said the plan is to transform it into a tiki bar. It will be completely separate from the restaurant. There is still a bar for the restaurant, albeit less than half the total size of its predecessor. It faces east now, and is well-lit and much more open.

There are eight beer taps, and at the outset Fox said it is only a temporary beer list that includes offerings from Ex Novo and La Cumbre. The goal is to eventually have a mix of in-town and out-of-state beers, but Fox said he wants the selections to be on the rarer side. While they have beers like Elevated and Mass Ascension right now, the goal will be to have rarer one-offs instead of the more mass-produced house beers that can seemingly be found almost anywhere. Fox and his partners have a friendship with Ex Novo owner Joel Gregory that predates the opening of the Corrales brewery, so expect to see a fair amount of unique Ex Novo offerings for those folks who find Corrales too far to travel to from the southeast.

In addition to those plans, Fox said he wants to amass a collection of rare bottles from some of the smaller distributors like Favorite Brands, which carries Prairie Artisan Ales and a number of others that are a wee bit popular with the hardcore beer geeks in these parts.

Beyond the beer, the food menu has also been redone by chef Sean Sinclair and his wife, Katey, who are part of the ownership group. There is also an extensive wine list and a revamped cocktail menu, for those who need a break from beer. (We hear such people exist.)

Fox is also an owner of Little Bear Coffee, and a new location for that popular spot is going in directly across Central in the former Disco Display House. Normally this would not be news on a beer site, but Fox said that the plan is to put a small brewery and distillery in that space in addition to the coffee shop. We await further updates on that plan and what final details it will entail.

Until then, stop by NHBG, give it a fresh look, and let us know what you think.


— Stoutmeister

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