It is rare that we publish stories on Sundays, but these are strange times, and unfortunately the bad news has been piling up since Friday. We wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the following news items, so here we go.
Taos Mesa Brewing needs our support
At about 2:30 a.m. Thursday, the owners of Taos Mesa were alerted to the fact that the Mothership building was on fire. No one was present at the time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the result was devastating. The building is not a total loss, but the roof was badly damaged, and smoke had filled the structure. It will take quite some time to repair.
While the brewery has insurance, this is just a financial hammer blow for a place that has long been built around its ability to host live events. Save for some virtual concerts broadcast online, Taos Mesa had shut down the Mothership back in March, keeping only the taproom in town open for takeout only.
Taos Mesa has set up a GoFundMe account to help keep the overall business afloat until the insurance money arrives and repairs can commence. You can also help out by stopping at the taproom for beer and pizza, as it is currently the only source of income (the taproom at the ski area is closed during the summer, pandemic or no pandemic).
All of us in the Crew send our condolences to the owners and staff at Taos Mesa. Our fingers are crossed that the community will step up and by this time next year, we will all be enjoying a pint or two on the spacious outdoor patio while local musicians warm up on stage in the amphitheater.
But, just in case, we donated some money ourselves. Please help out if you can!
Steel Bender forced to shut down due to positive COVID-19 test
An unnamed employee at Steel Bender has tested positive, forcing the brewpub to shut down through at least (UPDATE) Tuesday, at minimum. SBB was already closed for the July 4 holiday, but this is still a tough blow for such a popular place.
In a statement, Steel Bender said it is unknown when or where the employee was exposed. He/she is now self quarantined. As a result, the brewpub will be shut down and subject to a thorough cleaning by an outside company.
All the other SBB employees are required to take a COVID-19 test and can only return to work when their test results come back as negative. That strikes us as a longer closure than just through Monday, based on the recent lag in getting results as test numbers are increasing daily.
This is another clear reason to remind everyone of the importance of wearing their masks. We do not know what else to tell those of you who stubbornly refuse to do so, other than stay home.
Second Street Rufina also closes due to possible contact
Acting out of an abundance of caution is not just an Albuquerque thing. Up in Santa Fe, Second Street opted to close its Rufina taproom for the weekend after a possible secondary contact.
Per a release from creative director Mariah Scee, there was a Rufina employee who also worked at a nearby restaurant that saw a COVID-19 outbreak among the staff. The employee in question tested negative, but the brewery opted to close the taproom just in case.
Until every Rufina employee’s test results come back, the taproom will remain closed. The original Second Street location remains open daily from noon to 9 p.m.
We applaud Second Street and Steel Bender (and Casa Vieja before them last weekend) for doing the right thing, even though it can be a tough financial blow to give up a weekend worth of business.
Please show them some support when they reopen!