ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The last few years have been tough on many locally-owned businesses in Nob Hill, but now it seems the once vibrant stretch of Central, is getting new life. First, it was the A.R.T. Small business owners in Nob Hill blamed the project for shrinking business, and a lot of businesses closed.

Then, just when business owners in the Nob Hill area thought they were in the clear, COVID-19 derailed everything. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham forced all non-essential businesses to close up shop, to stop the spread of the virus. Once again, a number of the boutiques and restaurants in Nob Hill suffered. A once vibrant part of the city, now full of vacancies.

“The pandemic affected every business and every aspect of every city,” said Sharmin Dharas, the owner of the former University Lodge, now Hotel Zazz. Dharas says despite the challenges, things are starting to pick up again. Seven new Nob Hill businesses are opening.

One of those, is the recently opened M’Tuccis Roma, taking the place of the old Kelly’s Brew Pub at the corner of Central and Wellesly. Gather, has also recently opened, and the new restaurant fills the previously vacant Nob Hill Bar and Grill. We also told you about Public House, the new wine tasting room opening up this summer.

Dharas, who sits on the board of NobHill Main Street, says it’s great to see all these once vacant buildings full of life again. “We’re actually booming and more lively than pre-pandemic,” she said. “The neighbors have been out and about, you’re seeing more walking,” she explained.

Also opening this summer, Dharas’ recently renovated Hotel Zazz, Lizard Tail Brewing, and new retail stores at the Nob Hill Shopping Center and Shops.