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Schushop hikes to NE Heights for more space

Schushop, a Nob Hill shoe and handbag retailer, is moving, but never fear. Fans of Ruby, the 2-year-old Labrador who’s a constant presence, will still be able to visit their favorite mascot.

Michelle Schuch said her shop has simply outgrown its space and is moving from Central and Carlisle SE to the North Towne Plaza at Academy and Wyoming NE. Schushop will be occupy the spot next to Chico’s on the Academy side of the plaza.

“We’ve grown out of this space,” she said. “Not so much on the sales floor, because we like to keep things quaint. … Where we’ve run out of space is in the back room. I am in desperate need of a dedicated work space.”

Though the expansion is not large – from 700 square feet on Central to 950 square feet on Academy – the new space will include a bathroom and a special place for Ruby. As a bonus, Schuch said, the new space will be away from ART construction.

Though Schuch is careful to explain that the rapid transit project is not the main reason for moving, she said it is a factor. “We resisted for so long, but the numbers don’t lie,” Schuch said. “Lots of businesses are suffering, and it hasn’t been easy.”

Schuch said a loyal customer base has kept her store afloat during construction, and most customers have said they will follow her to her new location. And she said she’s excited to be discovered by more people.

Schuch does not sell apparel or jewelry but is happy that her new neighbors do. “We love the (new location),” she said. “It’s kind of a one-stop shopping center.”

The move will also come with expanded hours and a doubled workforce, to four employees, not including Ruby.

The Acre

The Acre, which bills itself as “vegetarian food for carnivores” will open in October at the shopping center on the southeast corner of Wyoming and Montgomery. (Courtesy of Danielle Weed)

Danielle and Shawn Weed are bubbly and friendly people. They’re the kind of people who seem like old friends as soon as you meet them.

It’s that kind of personal touch and sensitivity to customer desires that they hope will set their new restaurant, The Acre, apart when they open in October at Wyoming and Montgomery NE. Well, that and the food.

Shawn, The Acre’s chef, describes the restaurant as “vegetarian food for carnivores.”

He is heavily influenced by his grandfather, a farmer in Pennsylvania. He talks about eating everything fresh from the farm and said he wants to bring that experience to Albuquerque.

With that in mind, Weed plans to change the menu seasonally to provide both the freshest vegetables and another reason to keep coming back. Adding green chile and other New Mexican staples is of paramount importance, he said.

“This is our culture,” he said. “It’s important to show it.” Weed has worked out deals with local farmers and cooperatives to provide as many local materials and ingredients as possible.

“Most people get terrified when they hear ‘vegetarian,'” Weed said. “They think kale tossed with tofu. I don’t want that to be the experience (at The Acre). This is comfort food but reinvented without the meat.”

The new, 1,440-square-foot restaurant will be located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Wyoming and Montgomery. It will seat up to 50 customers.

Weed has been in the restaurant industry for 26 years, working all over the country to hone his skills. He said he decided to open his first restaurant in his home state.

Altar’d State

Altar’d State, a national women’s clothing and accessory chain, will be the newest addition to ABQ Uptown. This shows the interior of one of its Kentucky stores. (Courtesy of Altar’D State)

Altar’d State, a women’s clothing chain with nearly 90 locations nationwide, is the newest addition to ABQ Uptown. The store will open Aug. 1, according to Mary Beth Fox, chief brand officer.

Altar’d State, which bills itself as a Christian company, is headquartered in Maryville, Tenn. This is its first New Mexico location. Fox said the company is “always looking for opportunities. Of course we want to expand in New Mexico.”

Fox said the chain has been looking at the state for a long time and loves the ABQ Uptown location, a nearly 6,000-square-foot store across from Williams Sonoma.

Altar’d State will employ roughly 25 people, “depending on traffic,” Fox said.

The store is involved in global and community charities, offering employees opportunities to get paid for volunteer work with different causes and donating a portion of Monday proceeds to various charities like Boys and Girls Clubs.

According to Fox, the Albuquerque location’s interior is modeled after the first chapel the company built in Peru.

The store is a much-needed addition to the Uptown shopping center which has seen several shops and restaurants leave in the last several months, including Marcello’s Chophouse, Bebe’s and most recently Alfred Angelo Bridal.

In other news:

  • North Valley restaurant Murphy’s Mule Barn closed suddenly last month. There is no word yet on if or when it will reopen.
  • The lot that once held Paul’s Monterey Inn is under heavy construction. The building has been torn down, and signs indicate it will be a new Peter Piper Pizza location. This will be the fourth Peter Piper Pizza in the Albuquerque area.
  • Casablanca Market will open next to Red Lobster on Montgomery near San Pedro NE by the end of the summer. The grocer specializes in Mediterranean and European specialty items. The owners are Hiad and Ali Jamaleddin, landlord Joanna Guidotti said. “… We think the market will really help revitalize Republic Square,” she said.
  • Pete’s Frites, a Nob Hill burger joint at 3407 Central NE, has closed its doors after roughly a year in business. Pete’s began as a Santa Fe food truck until owner Marie and Peter Gabriel decided to open their first restaurant last summer. Previously, the space was home to Shade Tree Customs & Cafe for two years.
  • Fox and Hound, a national restaurant chain, has begun rebranding. The Albuquerque location on Pan American NE has already changed its signage to Craft Republic.

If you have retail news to share, contact me at thood@abqjournal.com or 823-3953.

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