CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) - An iconic building in one of New Mexico’s more popular tourist towns is getting a new life. The building is more than 100 years old, but it hasn't gotten much use in recent times.
A piece of history built in 1901 in downtown Carlsbad is getting a major facelift.
“Food brings people together so that's kind of what our goal is here and to bring people to the downtown area,” said Edgar Torres, owner of Red Chimney BBQ.
The Red Chimney BBQ owners bought the old Odd Fellows building two summers ago after realizing there wasn't a place to get a drink while enjoying the courthouse lawn.
“It was June, it was warm and we thought, 'Let’s get some water.' But then we were like, 'There’s no place downtown to get a bottle of water,' and so that’s where Ellie’s Market idea came up,” said Jill Torres.
Ellie's Market, named after their daughter, plans to serve more than just water; while also preserving some of the building's history.
“Just kind of a gourmet market downtown where you can get soups and salads and sandwiches and just a simple cup of coffee,” she said.
“There’s so many cool things that have been in this building for so many years that we want to keep and reuse in our new design.”
Once that is complete, they have high hopes for the rest of the building -- all with one goal in mind.
“Something that has food and draws people to the downtown area. The upstairs we are thinking about doing in the meantime event space, and then maybe in the future doing some kind of restaurant upstairs as well,” said Jill Torres.
“By doing a restaurant here and by keeping open a little later hours, and open on the weekend, will allow people to come down here and shop and bring more money to the community as well,” said Edgar Torres.
The Odd Fellow’s Organization was dedicated to bettering the community, and the Torres family hopes they can follow in those footsteps.