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With its rich history and diverse outdoor activities, Albuquerque makes a unique vacation destination for visitors of all ages. Nestled between the peaks of the Sandia Mountains and ancient Native American pueblos, Albuquerque boasts sunny blue skies more than 310 days a year, plus one-of-a-kind sites and experiences year-round.
Explore what’s new and happening in Albuquerque in Late Summer/Fall 2022. Check out all the ways people are enjoying the area’ s award-winning breweries, eclectic restaurants, mountain and river adventures, wide-open spaces, and guided tours.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center to Host RV Guests During Balloon Fiesta
New for the 50th anniversary, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center will be offering a limited number of exclusive dry dock RV camping sites in the beautiful Avanyu Plaza, located in 12th Street’s thriving business and cultural district, in the heart of Albuquerque. Exciting add-on packages, which include coupons to all of the businesses at IPCC and Avanyu Plaza, are also available.
Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Rebrands to The Clyde Hotel
The hotel is named after Clyde Tingley, who served as chairman of the Albuquerque City Commission, which was the equivalent title of mayor in 1925. Nine years later, Tingley was elected as New Mexico's 11th governor. The rebrand stretches beyond a name change for The Clyde Hotel, which is owned by Heritage Hotels & Resorts. Heritage's rebrand pays homage to Clyde and his wife Carrie with their photos on a timeline that outlines Clyde's life and political career. Heritage also renovated the on-site restaurant, Carrie’s – named after Carrie Tingley. A refresh of the lobby and ground-floor public spaces is underway, with plans for guest-room renovations in the coming months. The project will take approximately two years to complete, and guests will be able to enjoy the Clyde story as it unfolds.
New Boutique Hotel Coming to Nob Hill
Owned and operated by Albuquerque native Sharmin Dharas, who grew up on the property (then known as the University Lodge), which was previously run by her parents, Hotel Zazz is turning an old hotel into a bold one. The fun and quirky aesthetic will be a full sensory experience, inspired by Meow Wolf, and will incorporate elements of chromotherapy with dazzling bright colors to re-energize guests. Hotel Zazz will feature murals from local artists, as well as painted paths from internationally recognized artists (to be announced). Some highlights of the property will include an interactive lobby experience that changes from day to night, 99 points of selfies to Instagram every moment of your stay, and a speakeasy designed by the girl who grew up on the property and knows all the good places to hide. Hotel Zazz is on track to open in October 2022.
Albuquerque’s Imperial Inn Motel to Get a New Look
Located near the East Downtown neighborhood, the Imperial Inn Motel has moved forward with a massive renovation that will transform the space into a major retail and residential space. The $7.6 million renovation is the result of a partnership with Palindrome Communities, based in Oregon. Completion is expected in late 2022.
Indian Pueblo Kitchen Welcomes New Executive Chef, Davida Becenti
Chef Davida Becenti is of Diné (Navajo) and Polynesian descent and served in the United States Marine Corps. She has worked in the culinary industry in a variety of positions for 26 years and did chef training through the University of Hawaii’s Kaua’i Culinary Arts Program. Chef Davida believes that Indigenous cuisine is all about Mother Earth, as she nourishes human beings and all living things. She is passionate about giving back—whether it’s helping troubled youth, supporting the LGBTQ community, or fundraising for causes at her children’s school. She has that same kind of passion with her food, treating everyone that she cooks for as a beloved family member. Chef Davida wants each dish at the Indian Pueblo Kitchen to leave a lasting impression and is most proud when people say that their experience has been enriched by her cuisine.
New Exclusive Speakeasy Opens in Nob Hill
Tucked behind M’tucci’s Bar Roma is a black door labeled “bakery.” Behind that door is Albuquerque’s newest ’20s-themed speakeasy, Teddy Roe’s. Teddy Roe’s is reservation-only, and has a membership program that includes perks like “Members Mondays.” Membership is $1,000 per year and limited to 125 people. Each member will receive a coin, engraved with their membership number, which they can present at the door.
Tavern Specializing in Comfort Food Opens at Avanyu Plaza
The center, located near 12th Street and Interstate 40, is continuing its roll out of new businesses with the opening of the 12th Street Tavern, a sports bar featuring American comfort food with a New Mexican twist, along with signature drinks and local craft beers on tap. The 4,500-square-foot 12th Street Tavern joins other Avanyu Plaza eateries like Laguna Burger, Sixty-Six Acres and Dominos Pizza. Monique Fragua, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center's chief operations officer, said the center had been looking to create a restaurant for years and was looking for concept not found in the North Valley. That’s how they landed on opening a bar themed around New Mexico sports and sport stars. Avanyu Plaza is destined to be a business and cultural corridor like no other, right in the heart of Albuquerque. The property is owned by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico and located across the street from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
Los Poblanos and Campo Welcoming New Leadership
Campo at Los Poblanos is thrilled to announce that Liz Gallery has been appointed Culinary Director and Chris Bethoney has been promoted to Head Chef. Together with the rest of their Culinary Leadership Team, whose members have been at Los Poblanos for between four and 14 years, they are grateful to have such a talented and dedicated group of individuals who continue to shape Rio Grande Valley Cuisine at Los Poblanos. This transition marks a new chapter and a firm commitment to their established team. They are delighted to be operating at full capacity serving family and friends enjoying each other’s company in this one-of-a-kind setting.
Gather in Nob Hill For a New Dual Concept Restaurant
The first of the new slate of restaurants to open was Gather, inside the former Nob Hill Bar and Grill location at 3128 Central SE. Social House 3128, the second restaurant concept at the same address –though physically separated – opened a few weeks later. The menu for both concepts is created by executive chef Joe Anguiano, whose culinary background dates back to his childhood growing up alongside his family’s tortilla factory in Los Angeles. Gather is a cocktail-forward, small plate and shareable items concept with a space designed around a long community table with private booths and bar top seating. Social House 3128, which borrows its name from the restaurant’s address, will have a more entree-focused menu with “gastropub” inspired items and an extensive, but affordable, wine menu.
Sushi Chain Hissho Sushi Partners with Albuquerque-founded Hatch Chile Co.
From burgers to mac and cheese, Hatch chile can go on anything, including sushi. Hissho Sushi is partnering with Albuquerque-founded Hatch Chile Co. to fuse Japanese and New Mexican flavors with their Hatch chile chicken roll. The roll includes green chile, corn, avocado, cream cheese, crispy fried onions and grilled chicken, in addition to the normal ingredients like sriracha, rice, nori and spicy mayo. The roll is available at Sprouts grocery stores around the country.
Tiny Grocer ABQ Partners with Sandwich Shop in New Location
Tiny Grocer ABQ is relocating to a not-so-tiny space. The new location will combine Old Town Herbal, Tiny Grocer ABQ and Tuerta, a sandwich shop, under one roof. Tiny Grocer will sell the products of about 60 different farmers and artisans.
Nob Hill Welcomes New Wine Bar, Central Bodega
The Central Bodega Wine Bar and Kitchen in Nob Hill opened on August 13. The restaurant pairs Spanish, French and Italian cuisine with its list of 60 wines, and features local ingredients that will change based on the season. The owners of the restaurant want to see Albuquerque thrive and grow, and share their passion for wine with the community.
Old Town Cafe Fills Empty La Placita Location
What was once Casa de Armijo, is now Old Town Cafe, a restaurant made to feel like a home away from home. The dining room features a wall of license plates from different states, something that the owner, Michelle La Meres, hopes customers will recognize and enjoy. Old Town Cafe will feature a menu with New Mexican comfort food such as fry bread, frito pie and an array of pastries.
Pandemic Boom Leads ABQ Baker to Expand
Roxy’s Cake Studio is opening a new location on the north side of the Coronado Center. Roxy’s studio gained a huge following during the pandemic when many grocery store bakeries shut down, leaving customers with fewer options. The new location offers customers a delicious selection of cupcakes, cake pops, ready-made cakes and other delectable treats.
Mother-Daughter Duo Open Dessert Shop on West Side
While placing an order for some macarons for her daughter last year, Tami O’Bryan realized that the company she was ordering from was actually a franchise and decided to reach out for more information. Since reaching out, O’Bryan and her daughter, Victoria Ruggles, have opened their own Le Macaron store. The store opened on April 3 in the RiverSide Plaza and offers more than just macarons. Customers can enjoy eclairs and Napoleons, coffee drinks and mini macaron cakes.
Food Truck, Wing it Up, Launches Store Front Location
Alejandra Leal and Brittany Muller spent the last three years working out of their food truck, serving the community something different than traditional food truck foods; they decided to go with wings. From food truck to store front, Leal and Muller’s hard work has led to them opening their first location. Wing It Up officially opened May 14, on the intersection of 4th Street and Gold.
Sandia Resort & Casino Opens Remodeled Bien Shur Rooftop Lounge
The Sandia Resort & Casino’s newly remodeled Bien Shur Rooftop Lounge is open Friday and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
NY-Style Bagel Shop Now Open in Near El Vado Motel
New Yorkers David Kaufman and Peter Faulk, are bringing authentic New York food to New Mexico; Kaufman’s Coffee and Bagels opened on June 18. The new bagel shop, near El Vado Motel, offers a variety of flavors from classics like sesame seed and poppy seed, to some more niche flavors such as green chile cheddar and parmesan black pepper.
El Vado’s Cakery Paves Path For The Shakery
Amanda Jones is shaking things up by opening her second business at El Vado Motel. The Shakery is bringing delicious shakes, ice cream and other fun Willy Wonka-esque drinks to the area, creating exciting dessert options that appeal to both kids and adults.
Blue Door Patisserie Opens Second Location Downtown
As a recent recipient of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, Blue Door Patisserie used the grant to establish another location at 900 Park Ave. SW. The restaurant, which serves French cuisine currently in Sawmill Market, utilized the funds to help renovate the interior of the new space as well as provide living wages and benefits to staff.
M'Tucci's Opens New Bar Roma in Old Kelly's Brewpub Location
Nob Hill welcomed a new concept, M’Tucci’s Bar Roma, earlier this summer. Five members of the M'Tucci's team went to Italy in 2021 to draw inspiration for this project. As a result, the restaurant incorporates finer details like high archways, lights and wall fixtures into the Nob Hill location.
National Hispanic Cultural Center
The National Hispanic Cultural Center is a world-class center for Hispanic arts and culture featuring an art museum, a state-of-the art performing arts complex, a library and genealogy center, a restaurant and gift shop. Enjoy art online and temporary and permanent exhibitions throughout the year and celebrate Hispanic traditions through various festivals and celebrations including Cinco de Mayo and Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). The NHCC is part of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Recent news and current exhibits:
New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Adds New Exhibits
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is an innovative, hands-on experience that explores New Mexico's unique natural history. New exhibits include:
ABQ BioPark Welcomed New Baby Orangutan This Spring
ABQ BioPark zookeepers walked in to a pleasant surprise one Sunday morning in May —a new baby orangutan! Sarah, 38, gave birth to a healthy baby. This is her fourth offspring, including 9-year-old Pixel, who was with her when she gave birth.
Los Poblanos Hosts Outdoor Music Series
Los Poblanos is welcoming local musicians each Thursday evening this summer and fall. Paired with beautiful New Mexican weather and creative cocktails from the Rio Grande Valley Rescue Truck, you just may want to visit every week. No reservations are required. Musicians will be playing outside around the silos. Seating is first-come, first-served.
New Owners Bring Luxury to Former Albuquerque Budget Theater
A former Albuquerque budget theater has received a luxurious face lift by cinema owner, Stetson Snell. What was previously known as the Movies 8 location will be unrecognizable, making the theater's new name, Icon Cinema, the perfect fit. The new movie rooms are equipped with electric leather recliners with electric headrests, privacy pods, and movie goers at the San Mateo location will receive unlimited refills of popcorn, slushies and sodas. Icon Cinema opened April 28.
Spirit Takes Flight at the ABQ Sunport
Spirit's daily non-stop service between Albuquerque and Las Vegas began in August. This is the Albuquerque International Sunport’s first new domestic airline partner since 2016.
Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque Celebrates 30 Years
The Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque celebrates 30 years this year of a classic New Mexican tradition. It began in 1991 as a Mexican-style rodeo concert. Since then, the event has become one of the premier mariachi festivals with internationally-recognized artists, workshops and concerts.
Blake's Lotaburger Celebrates 70 Years of Service
Blake’s Lotaburger first opened its doors on July 9, 1952, and quickly became a New Mexico staple with its fun burger options such as the green chile cheeseburger. Since opening, the restaurant has turned into a chain, opening 72 locations in 70 years.
Downtown Makes Room for Long-Awaited Upscale Boutique Hotel
Plans for Hotel Blue/ARRIVE Albuquerque are underwraps as Palisociety, a fully integrated hospitality company that acquired ARRIVE Hotels, moves in heavy equipment and construction crews to the former Downtowner Motor Inn. In 2019, ARRIVE Hotels originally planned to redevelop the old inn into an upscale boutique hotel. Since being acquired by Palisociety, it is unknown if their plans match ARRIVE’s concept of restoration. Palisociety is anticipating a 2023 opening.
Work Continues on Element by Westin Hotel in Uptown
Construction on the 120-room, 86,335-square-foot hotel began in late 2021. It is expected to be ongoing for roughly two years.
Dutch Bros. Coffee expects other NM locations by the end of 2022
With the success of the first Dutch Bros. Coffee location in Sante Fe, there are plans for several other locations to be developed by the end of 2022. Trey Eakin, Vice President of Accelerated Development Services, said “additional quick service restaurants or a retail user could complement Dutch Bros., given the high traffic counts the coffee stands draw.”
Nonprofits to Add Commissary Kitchen to Barelas Central Kitchen
Local nonprofits Homewise and the Street Food Institute announced plans to construct a 5,500-square-foot commissary kitchen for small food-based businesses looking to get their footing. The commissary is part of a larger mixed-use business incubator Homewise is leading that also includes storefront retail shops and office and studio spaces. Construction on the Barelas Central Kitchen, 1411 Fourth SW, is expected to start late summer 2022, with plans to have the commissary completed in about 18 months.
New Wine House and Restaurant Opening in Nob Hill
Public House, which is owned by High and Dry Brewing, will be a new satellite taproom located at 201 Hermosa Dr. NE. The taproom will have a few beers on tap, but it will primarily focus on wine and how it pairs with food. The building is shaped like a barbell with one end dedicated to Public House, and the other will be a new restaurant called Butter. In between, there is a courtyard that both will share. Butter will feature brunch, lunch and lighter dinner options. The locations plan to open in late 2022.
Indian Pueblo Kitchen Will Soon Include Teaching Kitchen
Estimated to open in late 2022, the Indian Pueblo Kitchen will include a teaching kitchen that will offer exciting opportunities for students to learn Indigenous cooking techniques and restaurant operations in an engaging, collaborative environment. Eventually, the Indian Pueblo Kitchen will provide entrepreneurs, food truck operators and Native American food artisans with access to a commercial greenhouse and commercial kitchen. The restaurant and teaching kitchen will also offer culinary experiences such as cooking classes, wine pairing dinners, Feast Day meals and farm-to-fork dining.
The West Central Route 66 Visitors Center Opens to the Public
A collaborative effort between the county, the City of Albuquerque and local stakeholders, a new 21,000-square-foot, $12 million West Central Route 66 Visitors Center will include a museum, a taproom, office space and outdoor amphitheater. Albuquerque is home to the longest urban stretch of Route 66, the iconic “Mother Road” that brought together existing local and state roads from Chicago through St. Louis to Los Angeles, spanning more than 2,400 miles and eight states. The center is anticipated to open to the public in fall 2022.
Front Line Coalition Brings First-of-its-Kind Fitness Concept to Albuquerque
The 11,000-square-foot gym will be open to the public and will offer tiered memberships. Front Line will be a CrossFit affiliate where prospective athletes can train. The gym will also offer specific-classroom training for current and past first responders and others on how to overcome trauma.
Max Q at Kirtland Development Moving Forward
Kirtland Air Force Base is working on a new, open-to-the-public development called Max Q at Kirtland. The project will transform more than 70 acres of the base outside of the military fence into a multi-use development to include shops, a hotel, restaurants and office space accessible to the public. Developers anticipate initial buildings to be delivered to tenants early next year.
Downtown Albuquerque Redevelopment Aimed at Drawing in New Residents
Mark Baker’s, developer and owner of Villa Agave, $3.5 million proposal for the old convent was approved by the city’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency May 19. The city will chip in almost half a million dollars in subsidies and tax breaks to help turn it into the Villa Agave apartments Baker is building. Baker says they’ve already begun some demolitions. They hope to have the apartments completed by early 2023.
Winrock Begins Construction on Park and Lake
Construction on the long-awaited centerpiece of the Winrock Town Center redevelopment is finally underway. Breaking ground on a massive outdoor open space in mid-May, developers and city officials now say the highly anticipated park and lake will be open by next year. Owned by the Albuquerque-based Goodman Group since 2007, the Winrock site has been under a redevelopment plan for more than a decade. Renderings show the park is expected to include grassy outdoor spaces with trees, shaded seating areas, walking paths, a round gazebo-like structure, a nearby dog park and multiple bridges over a massive lake which will be filled with water treated on-site.
Building Permit Issued as Part Of Netflix's Planned Expansion at Albuquerque Studios
The City of Albuquerque issued a commercial building permit to Netflix for a foundation at 5650 University Blvd. SE — the site of Albuquerque Studios at Mesa del Sol. The California-based streaming giant submitted applications in November 2021 for at least four additional building permits for new buildings at Albuquerque Studios. The buildings range from a 9,500-square-foot pre-manufactured metal structure to a 60,799-square-foot new metal building.
Netflix Official Expects Albuquerque Studios Expansion to Be Ready By 2024
Come 2024, Netflix officials expect thousands of people will be present at its North America Hub at Mesa del Sol. The California-based streaming giant said construction is underway on the project and dirt is moving for its massive expansion at Albuquerque Studios, which has a price tag of $1 billion. That is the same price point Netflix acquired Albuquerque Studios for in 2018.
Heritage Real Estate Announces New Project at Park Square in Uptown
Planning and development of a major renovation at Park Square is underway. As part of the project, Heritage Real Estate will be bringing in high-quality, local vendors including Gruet Winery, a high-end men’s clothier known as Eternity Men, a high-end women’s clothier known as Eternity Women, a wellness studio and two mini-food hubs featuring fresh, curated food and beverage options for Park Square tenants and the broader community.
Legacy Development & Management Plans for Sunport Hotel
While it remains in the planning stages with the City of Albuquerque, Legacy has plans for a five-story hotel that will encompass 112 rooms across 73,595 square feet near the Albuquerque International Sunport. The project remains conceptual at this point, Kassam said. The hotel would be located off Sunport and University boulevards at 1500 Sunport Ave. SE, down the street from Interstate 25.
Avanyu Plaza Continues to Phase III of Construction
Avanyu Plaza is destined to be a business and cultural corridor like no other, right in the heart of Albuquerque. The property is owned by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico and located across the street from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. In 1976, the Pueblo communities came together with the vision of providing economic and employment opportunities for Pueblo and local community members. Now, they are transforming this area into a vibrant new neighborhood, hosting dozens of enterprises including office and commercial tenants, lodging, retail operations, food service and security operations. La Montañita, a New Mexico-based neighborhood grocery co-op, is the first known tenant secured for Phase III.
City of Albuquerque Takes Next Step in Rail Trail Sky Bridge Project
This partnership between Albuquerque’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency and Zydeco 66, LLC, includes a sky bridge connecting to the Albuquerque Convention Center and a plaza along the upcoming Rail Trail, along with a potential 140 residential units or hotel rooms. The project serves to improve pedestrian connectivity while offering new housing opportunities for residents.
Immersive Art Experience Could Be Coming to Albuquerque’s Rail Yards
A new idea to revitalize the Albuquerque Rail Yards is to turn the area into an immersive art experience called “The Spirit Station.” The brainchild of local artist Michael Wieclaw, it would also feature a patio and a train car called The Bar Car, to be operated by Still Spirits, a local distillery in the Downtown area. Still in the development stage, the city expects construction to begin in late 2022.
516 and Outpost are Pursuing a Major Center for the Arts in Sawmill
516 Arts and Outpost Performance Space, two organizations that have become household names in the Downtown and University-area cultural scenes, are planning to build a new $10 million, 31,000-square-foot arts center at the corner of 18th Street and Bellamah Avenue in the Sawmill neighborhood. If all goes to plan, workers would break ground in August 2022, finishing up in early 2024 ahead of a spring opening.
Plans Announced for Massive Industrial Aviation Park on Westside
When celebrities and executives arrive in Albuquerque with larger business jets they find that there is no rental hangar space available, and their planes end up exposed to the elements. Developer Craig Cervantes is on a mission to provide movie stars, corporations and those that own smaller aircrafts with a stylish place to house themselves and their planes on the 130 acres zoned for aviation development at the end of the runway at Double Eagle II Airport on the Westside of Albuquerque.
The Old St. Mary's Rest Home to Transform into Apartments
The old St. Mary's Rest Home at 205 7th St. NW is being converted into 14 market-rate apartment units. The development should take a period of about nine months, which would bring The Villa to market next July or August. Upon completion, The Villa will have on-site parking, amenities like washers and dryers, stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops along with a general new look and feel.
Route 66 Turns 100 in 2026
Route 66 will turn a century old in 2026. The highway was commissioned in 1926 and connects Chicago with Los Angeles. The first route ran north to south through Albuquerque as part of a curve that connected Santa Rosa, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Lunas and several Native American reservations. By 1937, the road had straightened out and ran in a more east-west direction along the route we’re more familiar with today. Today, the route runs through the heart of Albuquerque along Central Avenue, leading travelers through some of the city’s most beloved neighborhoods and still serves as a jumping off point for transportation.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Turns 50 in 2026
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center will be celebrating its 50th birthday in 2026. The IPCC works to preserve Pueblo culture, and provides a place to discover and learn more about Pueblo culture. It is owned and operated by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico.