New West Side gastropub delayed until early 2014

beer2ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Because of the government shutdown, The Stumbling Steer will be a little late out of the gate.

The owners of the West Side gastropub initially had hoped to open this fall, but partner Min Lee said the goal is now to debut in early 2014.

That’s because The Stumbling Steer didn’t get federal approval of its brewer’s license until last week, a process Lee said was delayed when parts of the federal government temporarily shut down in October.

During the shutdown, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau halted its approval of new breweries, labels and recipes, impacting the larger craft beer industry.

Waiting out the shutdown – and the somewhat chaotic aftermath – set The Stumbling Steer back “probably two months,” Lee said.

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“As soon as the government resumed operating, we tried calling them for about a week and there was no response, probably because they were trying to play catch up,” he said. “Finally they responded and said they were picking up the pieces.”

Things now are moving more swiftly for the new gastropub. Lee said The Stumbling Steer has hired 60 employees and is currently training them.

“We’re trying to play catch up,” he said.

The Stumbling Steer is taking over the old Quarters restaurant/package store on Ellison NW, a 27,000-square-foot space.

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