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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 Winter/Spring 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.
Juno Brewery Now Open in Wells Park
Juno Brewery has emerged to take over the building left vacant after Dialogue Brewing closed during the pandemic. Jason and Maxine Marks, part of the new ownership group, reopened the brewery, breathing life back into the unique and historical Wells Parks building, which was once a warehouse, a museum and an auto shop. In addition to beer, the brewery is offering food that includes tapas, paninis, hot dogs and coffee drinks, such as espressos and cappuccinos.
Crumbl Cookies Makes Albuquerque Debut at Cottonwood Corners
Chase McFarland, franchisee and operator of Crumbl's first Albuquerque location, opened the Utah-based dessert store at Cottonwood Corners. He's been working on opening Crumbl since last year after seeing the early success of the first store in Logan, Utah. The concept has taken off nationwide with locations across the country.
Several New Restaurants, Wineries and Brewery Open in Historic Old Town
New additions to Plaza Don Luis in historic Old Town include wine-tasting rooms from Noisy Water Winery out of Ruidoso and Sheehan Winery in Albuquerque, Outpost Brewing and Taproom, Texas-style barbecue joint Fat T’s BBQ, Flying Roadrunner Bakery, and others.
Canvas Artistry Kitchen, Bar and Music Venue Now Open within One Central
One Central Entertainment District marks the gateway to downtown Albuquerque at the corner of First St. and Central Avenue. It is Transit Oriented, featuring an Albuquerque Rapid Transit Stop (ART) along First St. and situated directly across the street from the Rail Runner and Amtrak Station. The first of its kind, Canvas Artistry features a multicultural street food menu and craft cocktails along with works from local photographers, designers, film-makers, dancers, musicians, and artisans.
Vietnamese Fast Casual Restaurant Spring Rollin’ Opens
Co-founder of Paleta Bar, Dipo Alam, recently opened Spring Rollin’ near Cottonwood Mall. The spring rolls are made to order, and the egg rolls stray far afield from the pork-and-cabbage filling typical to the genre. After you order, the server tosses the egg rolls into the fryer and then goes about making the spring rolls to your specifications. You choose your wrap – rice paper or lettuce – and then work your way down the line through noodles, proteins, veggies and a “Texture” category made up of crunchy add-ons such as hot Cheetos, shrimp chips and fried egg roll skin.
Spirit Airlines Begins Service at the Albuquerque International Sunport
Spirit Airlines began flying nonstop between Albuquerque and Las Vegas, Nevada on August 3, marking the airline’s entry into the Albuquerque market. Southwest and Frontier also offer service between Albuquerque and Las Vegas.
Electric Playhouse Renews Their Focus on the Experience of Both Visitors and Staff
The Co-Founders of Electric Playhouse have always seen the future of their integrated immersive experience as something that serves as a platform for content creators and artists across the globe. As the company continues to grow, they have re-organized leadership in a way that will position them for success in both their corporate goals as well as their internal company culture. Electric Playhouse also plans to use recent funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to establish an administrative headquarters downtown. The business intends to renovate 3,880 square feet of the Occidental Life Building at Third Street and Gold Avenue, including outfitting the building’s unique Gothic Revival façade with interactive art pieces and colorful architectural lighting, and updating the interior office space.
MurosABQ Continues to Add New Public Art Displays to Website for Self-Guided Tours
Albuquerque has one of the largest public art collections in the country, and new works are constantly being created. MurosABQ has done the legwork to identify some of the city's most marvelous murals and continues to build out the website with new additions.
Los Poblanos Launches the Dr. Armin Rembe Lecture Series at La Quinta
Named in honor of Dr. Rembe, who passed away in spring 2021, and inspired by his love of Los Poblanos, his curiosity, intelligence and community relations, this series aims to celebrate his legacy by promoting stimulating conversations rooted in the core values and mission of Los Poblanos. The lecture series is also a nod to the rich history of La Quinta Cultural Center of the 1930s and 1940s, when the Simms family held lectures and events that promoted the arts. As Los Poblanos works to preserve La Quinta as an important architectural landmark, it also aims to emulate its dynamic programming through curated events and experiences.
Routes Bicycle Tours and Heritage Inspirations add New Tour Experiences
Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals added a new ABQ Bike & Taco Tour, which takes riders to the best taco joints in Albuquerque while passing through the scenic art and food community. Additionally, the new Duke City E-Bike Tour from Heritage Inspirations takes riders through the heart of Albuquerque’s historic, cultural, and artistic center. They will pedal effortlessly through the downtown neighborhoods hopping on and off of their bike to explore the undiscovered corners of the neighborhoods.
New Mexico Military Museum Reopens
After COVID closures and renovations, the New Mexico Military Museum finally reopened to visitors in November. The museum on Old Pecos Trail reopened after restrictions were lifted early in 2021 but shut down again in August for upgrades.
Avanyu Plaza Continues to Phase II of Construction
Avanyu Plaza is destined to be a business & 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. Phase II includes three buildings totaling 21,000 sq. ft. of retail space, most of which opened in late 2021.
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.
Movie Production Facility Opens at Journal Plant
William Lang, president of Albuquerque Publishing Co., announced in November the formation of a new movie production facility. The venture will be headquartered at and utilize portions of the publishing company’s facility at 7777 Jefferson St. NE, the same campus that houses the Journal. The Studios At Journal Center comprises a main stage area of 23,000 square feet with adjoining office space, a secondary stage or mill area of 13,000 square feet, and approximately 10,000 square feet of office space that can be used for production offices or filming. Additional office and general utility rooms are also available.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® Celebrates 50 Years
This year, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® celebrates 50 years of what has become a fall tradition in Albuquerque. A lot has changed since the first time hot air balloonists gathered in Albuquerque in 1972. Now, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® is one of the most photographed events in the world with hundreds of thousands of attendees.
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.
New Boutique Hotel Launching This Spring
Get jazzed for the Zazz! Albuquerque will welcome Hotel Zazz to Nob Hill in spring 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 summer 2022.
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 in 2022.
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.
New Wine House and Restaurant Coming to 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 restaurant, which is a separate entity from Public House, is able to open if the buildout is ready before Public House. The opening is anticipated for February 2022.
Blue Door Patisserie Opening Second Location Downtown
As a recent recipient of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, Blue Door Patisserie will use the grant to establish another location at 900 Park Ave. SW. The restaurant, which serves French cuisine, will use the funds to help renovate the interior of the new space as well as provide living wages and benefits to staff.
M'Tucci's Opening a Speakeasy at the Old Kelly's Brewpub Location
The entrance to the nighttime bar will be in the alleyway by M'tucci's Bar Roma — the partners' newest restaurant under construction. Much like the interior design of Bar Roma, the speakeasy is another nod to Roman culture. The M'tucci's partners spent about a week in Rome, trying to bring the feel of that city back to Albuquerque and incorporate it into its new locations.
Indian Pueblo Kitchen Will Soon Include Teaching Kitchen
Coming in fall 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.
New Exhibit Coming to the National Hispanic Cultural Center
“Fronteras del Futuro: Art in New Mexico and Beyond” will open at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on March 11, 2022. The new exhibit will feature artworks that explore the intersections of art, science, technologies (both ancient and modern), cosmic-musings, future-oriented visions, and more. The exhibition engages with themes that are relevant in New Mexico (and beyond) with contributions from artists in New Mexico, across the nation, and internationally.
Work Continues on West Central Route 66 Visitor Center
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 July 2022.
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 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.