New Albuquerque restaurant doing well despite pandemic

Business

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In a sea of fast-food chains and drive-thrus, three Albuquerque men are opening up a new restaurant and brewery on a side of town they know well. “We wanted to give back to the community and give them something they can be proud of,” said Nicolas Jiron, one of the co-owners of Sobremesa Restaurant and Brewery.

For the past two and a half years, Nicolas Jiron, Ryan Strilich, and David Facey have been working on opening Sobremesa, a restaurant and brewery near Coors and Sequoia. “It’s been a long difficult process,” said Strilich.

Building it from the ground up, the three friends say the business venture has been challenging, especially during the final stretch, when they had to begin planning for an opening during a pandemic. Nervous about what business might be like, they didn’t give up.

“Kind of like the majority of the population, we [are] just steadfast, head down, keep working, keep trying to get the job down,” said Facey.

Carol Wight, the president of the New Mexico Restaurant Association, says local restaurants are seeing a bit of an uptick in sales since reopening indoor dining a second time back in late August. However, she says they’re not out of the woods yet and a lot of them are in jeopardy of closing their doors altogether.

“It’s not looking good for New Mexico restaurants. We did a survey recently and 30 percent of New Mexico restaurants have only three months to survive,” said Wight.

The Sobremesa owners say they’ve been doing much better than anticipated. “Our restaurant has been well received, people have been looking for something like this and they’re excited we’re here,” said Strillich.

They say they think that’s because this area of town doesn’t have many dine-in restaurants. “You drive anywhere from the freeway down to Paseo and locally-owned restaurants are few and far between,” Strillich said.

Sobremesa’s patio and indoor dining are open at limited capacity. They also have hand sanitizer stations and require masks for all people not seated.

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