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TorC brewer hops on the beer wagon

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Truth or Consequences is about to get in on the beer craze. On Friday, Me Gusta World Street Food and Truth or Consequences Brewing Co. will host a joint “Oktoberfest Grand Opening” in downtown Truth or Consequences.

The event concludes on Sunday with Smokey’s barbecue roasting a full pig.

The brewery opened its 4,000-square-foot facility in mid-June, according to owner Marianne Blaue, but the celebration marks the completion of renovations on the taproom space and the launch of TorC Brewing Co.’s own line of beers.

The brewery will serve five of its own beers to start, including its signature offering, the Cosmic Blonde Ale.

Truth or Consequences Brewing Co. is the first local brewery in TorC. (Courtesy of Marianne Blaue)

Blaue said the brewery elected to forgo a food license to allow in food from surrounding businesses. That’s where the collaboration with Jasna and Gaelan Brown, owners of Me Gusta World Street Food, began.

Me Gusta is a food truck that has something of a permanant home near the brewery. Though still operating out of a truck, Me Gusta has set up an outdoor seating area and “really made the area into a good place to eat,” Blaue said.

Blaue is excited to be adding TorC’s first brewery to the downtown landscape of the “hot springs town.”

“We’ve already got our first soakers,” she said. “It’s a town where people just go anywhere in their bathrobes ’cause the springs are right there.” Blaue said the presence of “soakers” enjoying a pint in their robes makes for the perfect relaxed atmosphere.

Ettin Games and Hobbies

Whether you are Level 5 dragon with adamantium armor or a Level 1 elf from Morrowind searching for a golden sword, Ettin Games and Hobbies has just the thing for you.

Ettin Games and Hobbies will be taking over the space formerly occupied by Tandy Leather in Hoffmantown Shopping Center at Wyoming and Menaul NE. The store will have role-playing games, board games, tabletop games, card games, such as Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon, and much more.

Owners Sein Bynum and Sally Jewell want it to be more than a place to buy the latest games and accessories. “This is really more of a place for people to meet,” Bynum said.

Bynum says the store will offer a library where customers can check out a game and play it with friends at the store for as long as they like before deciding to purchase.

The store is roughly 1,700-square-feet and has a loft where Bynum plans to set up a space for events and for customers to host games like Dungeons and Dragons.

Bynum, who has traveled all over the country, came to Albuquerque two years ago. He said he recognized the need for an extensive games shop right away. “When I got here, I saw there was an opportunity in this community for a different kind of store,” he said.

Ettin Games and Hobbies, which has a licensing agreement with the original Ettin Games in Houston, plans to open Nov. 1.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is beginning its expansion with a second location at Holly and San Pedro NE.

Co-owner Jacob Miller, who owns the franchise rights in Albuquerque with his brother, Nathan, said the new 1,800-square-foot space is only the start of what will be a five-store expansion throughout the Albuquerque area.

Jacob and Nathan opened the first New Mexico Tropical Smoothie Cafe last year, and Jacob said business has been very strong.

Miller said the new retail center on Holly made perfect sense. “It fits everything that we want,” he said. “It has a lot of traffic, it’s kind of the food destination of the area. Plus, (the Tropical Smoothie Cafe space) has a drive-thru.”

Tropical Smoothie Cafe, based in Atlanta, has over 600 locations nationwide, according to Miller. Besides smoothies, the restaurant also offers sandwiches, wraps, flatbread dishes and a full breakfast menu.

Jacob Miller moved to Albuquerque 10 years ago as a manager for Coca-Cola and then Pepsi but quickly realized he wanted to branch out on his own. He and Nathan began searching for a franchise to purchase and landed on Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Miller said they decided on the national brand because of its fast growth and strong earnings but also because they wanted something that offered healthy choices.

“We are very conscientious about eating healthier and living healthier,” Miller said.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Holly has already begun renovations of its space at the east end of the new Holly retail development. Miller said he plans to open the store in late November.

In other news:

• Ross Dress for Less opened its new location on Paseo del Norte and Wyoming on Oct. 6. The new location at La Cueva Shopping Center is the sixth Ross location in the Albuquerque area.

• Sprouts Farmers Market has confirmed reports from earlier this year that it will be opening a new store at Coors and Montaño in early 2018. According to a news release, the new location will add approximately 120 jobs. The announcement also included plans to open a new location in Las Cruces.

The new Albuquerque store will mark the sixth Sprouts location in the Albuquerque area.