City council votes to allow taprooms, wine-tasting in Old Town

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new type of business could be popping up soon in Old Town, thanks to a new ordinance.

Wednesday night, city council approved a proposal from Councilor Isaac Benton, allowing taprooms and wine-tasting rooms to set up shop. Previously, alcohol sales in Old Town were confined to restaurants.

The businesses will be limited to local beer and wine-makers only, and they’ll have to get a permit first. Supporters say it will draw in more tourists and locals.

“Taprooms and wineries are a very different kind of demographic and a very different kind of crowd,” City Councilor Don Harris said. “They’re very mellow and I think this would fit in very well, really be good for Old Town and draw the kind of people there that we’d like to see.”

Old Town zoning still prohibits full bars and nightclubs.

The beer and wine rule was tacked on to another zoning change in Old Town, regarding the amount of signage businesses can have. The ordinance increases the number of signs per business from two to three, and allows small light-up signs as well as sandwich boards.

Shop owners say it will help them promote their businesses. Opponents have argued the change will clutter Old Town’s historic look.

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