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Tomato Cafe to settle into new digs in Sept.

One of Albuquerque’s popular lunch and dinner spots is being reborn in a new location.

Tomato Cafe, which closed in late May after losing its lease in a retail center just off Paseo del Norte and San Pedro NE, will reopen this fall just a few blocks south at 7900 San Pedro NE, Suites 9 and 10.

Owner Deb Gagnon said she hopes to open the new eatery in early September following a three-month build-out at the 3,200-square-foot space, which she said has easier access for customers and better visibility.

“I think we’re going to be a lot busier” at the new site, she said.

Tomato Cafe will be joining the business lineup at the Palomas Plaza retail center in September. (Steve Sinovic/Albuquerque Journal)

“The big plus is that it’s so close to the existing location, which was our goal,” Gagnon said. The new digs used to have another restaurant tenant, so there are hood vents, gas piping and refrigeration space already on site.

What won’t change is the fare on offer, which has attracted a loyal following over the years.

“The food will be exactly the same,” Gagnon said, referring to the all-you-can-eat, Italian-style buffet eatery, which serves thin-crust pizza, salads and pasta, roasted tomato basil soup and “the famous sauteed garlic green beans.”

“Fresh and consistent” is Gagnon’s focus. “That’s what our customers expect.”

505 salsa will fire up Broncos fans

Sundays during the fall usually mean two things: Broncos football is on, and the snacks are, too. Now the 505 is getting in on the act, as in Duke City-based 505 Southwestern Brands, which is now the official green chile, salsa, queso and chip purveyor to the Denver Broncos.

As part of a recently announced deal, 505 products will be made available throughout the Broncos’ stadium at multiple concessions sites. 505 Southwestern, which is made in Albuquerque, is owned by Denver-based Flagship Food Group.

“We recognize that 505 has become the ‘craft beer’ of the salsa category, and many of our fans here in Denver love the brand. It’s authentic and it’s premium,” Dan Hawley of the Broncos organization said in a statement.

505 has aggressively expanded its sports marketing campaign in 2018, having been named an official partner of numerous stadiums and professional sports teams across the country.

“Our green chile-based products go so well with so many items at stadiums, so we’re really working to expand this part of our business,” Flagship CEO Rob Holland said in a news release.

Shop talk

It looks like Pharmaca, a combination traditional pharmacy and alternative remedy source, is calling it quits at its lone Albuquerque bricks-and-mortar location.

Pharmaca is calling it quits at its lone Albuquerque retail location with a liquidation sale. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

The 5,100-square-foot store, at 8910 Holly NE, off Paseo del Norte in the Ventura Place shopping center, has a “store closing” sign on its doors, touting a 75 percent liquidation sale.

Pharmaca is based in Boulder, Colo.

Pharmaca, which also offers natural beauty care products and environmentally friendly household goods, opened at the site more than a dozen years ago. A store employee said the company will continue to operate its Santa Fe location.

Calls to the company’s corporate headquarters seeking comment were not returned.

Also giving up the ghost recently at Ventura Place was Bed Bath and Beyond.

Both properties are available for lease, according to the LoopNet commercial real estate site.

Steve Sinovic covers the restaurant, retail and hospitality beats for the Journal. He can be reached at or by calling 505-823-3919.