ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Nob Hill businesses are finding new hope.
A celebration Saturday welcomed the new businesses setting up shop, like Little Bear Coffee, Organ Mountain Outfitters and the re-opening of Flying Star Cafe.
More than a dozen businesses have opened or re-opened in the area in the past year, marking what they are calling a new chapter for historic Nob Hill. “I think it is time for Nob Hill to go into a new era,” Nob Hill Bar & Grill general manager Matthew Wolfson said.
Change is coming for the half-mile stretch of local businesses along Central from Girard to Washington in Nob Hill. “We are just a very different place than it used to be,” Wolfson said.
“It is very exciting.”
There was a block party in the area Saturday afternoon, celebrating the three local businesses that opened that day. “We are excited to be part of Nob Hill and bring some life back into this area,” Organ Mountain Outfitters store manager Nancy Portillo said.
Nob Hill was not always bustling with excitement. In the last few years, several long-standing businesses have shut down.
Many blamed Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction for the area’s decline. “Several restaurants closed that were anchors in the neighborhood, and it felt a little odd,” Wolfson said.
Now with the orange cones gone and bus routes set to open later this month, businesses say they are more comfortable investing here. “At this point, it seems most of the damage with ART has been done, and now it is finally in a spot with it opening that we can move forward,” Little Bear Coffee manager Joshua Davis said.
Plus, City Councilor Pat Davis said the city’s investment in the area over the past two years is making the neighborhood more inviting. “Just last week, we rolled out two new bicycle officer teams to make it safe,” Davis said. “We spent $100,000 to upgrade sidewalks so there is room for pedestrians, and we added parking spaces again.”
New businesses are even calling it Nob Hill’s rebirth. “Nob Hill really needs it and needs fresh young people willing to try new things and bring new things to this city,” Davis said.
Davis said he hopes that people seeing businesses re-invest in the area will encourage others to set up shop.
ART buses will start running on November 30.