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Encore: Weckerly opens a ‘nice hole in the wall’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The words fresh, simple, and delicious are posted over the kitchen window of Weck’s founder Doug Weckerly’s newest restaurant, the Duke City Kitchen located at 5016 Lomas NE.

Weckerly said he always practices the same principles when he opens a restaurant and thought it would make a great credo to put where everybody could read it.

“What I wanted with this place was a restaurant where everything was made from scratch from the bread to the jams customers would put on the bread,” Weckerly said. “I’m not sure this is a good thing to say, but I wanted a nice hole in the wall.”

Menu items at the Duke City Kitchen range from specialty hamburgers like the Betty served with peanut butter, jam, sharp cheddar and green chile, to several types of smothered hash browns and other breakfast staples like Huevos Rancheros.

Like many of Weckerly’s other restaurants, the Duke City Kitchen is only open for breakfast and lunch, a schedule he said has been easier to staff.

“When we get to full steam this restaurant will be at seven employees, and I will be the cook in the back,”he said.

Doug Weckerly, owner, cook and chief bottle-washer, is back in Albuquerque starting a new restaurant called Duke City Kitchen at 5016 Lomas NE. (Stephen Montoya/Albuquerque Journal)

The inside space of the restaurant has been completely remodeled.

Weckerly and his family opened up the ceiling, painted the walls and put new tables and chairs in the restaurant, giving it a country feel.

“I started remodeling this space two and a half months ago and when we were done I didn’t do a soft or hard opening, I just opened the doors,” he said.

This will be the 25th restaurant Weckerly has opened and remodeled in his over 30 years of being a restaurateur.

“I have never really had a restaurant fail…I mean to be a business owner you have to be willing to work hard and work long hours and I’ve done that through the years,” he said. “I have rarely taken a day of since I started as a bus boy at age 14, that’s my key to success.”

Weckerly sold Weck’s to restaurateur Art Kaplan in 2004.

Catering to traditional tastes

A new cafe and catering business named The Dish by Trish has taken over the former Perk Ranger Coffee House in the Village of Corrales.

The Dish by Trish, located in the Del Rio Plaza, is the brainchild of Owner Trish Gallegos, a former social organizer who fell into the culinary field after volunteering to cater an event for an organization she was a member of.

“I volunteered to help cater this event and I kind of liked it,” Gallegos said. “So everything snowballed, and after nine years of catering I had to make a decision, a food truck or a brick and mortar restaurant.”

Gallegos said she already had a menu set up when fate stepped in again after she looked at her phone and saw a small kitchen in Corrales had just been put on the market.

“I contacted the owner and she asked me to come by on a Friday, but she told me that she already had seven other people interested in the shop,” Gallegos said. “After we met, she called me three days later and told me I was the one.”

Gallegos and her family quickly whipped the former coffee shop into shape, revamping the kitchen area to serve daily menu items and prep for large catering events.

The Dish By Trish is a new restaurant and catering business in Corrales by Trish Gallegos. Standing with her is her daughter Amanda Gallegos outside on Corrales Road on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Daily specials at The Dish by Trish include meatloaf Mondays, New Mexico Tuesday, which could be any New Mexican dish, put it in a bowl Wednesday, Italian Thursday and Frito pie Fridays.

“My food inspirations are just whatever I feel like would be good for that day,” she said. “My morning menu consists of homemade pastries and danishes, things I like to bake.”

Trish Gallegos, owner of the new Corrales cafe The Dish by Trish, wants to be known for her authentic New Mexican cuisine. Gallegos just opened the doors to this newly renovated business two weeks ago.

On the east side of the cafe, nestled under an awning, is an adobe patio where customers can go outside and sit.

“This is the real draw to the restaurant because inside we can only hold like 12 people at a time,” she said.

Gallegos’ plan is to make her restaurant known as the best place for authentic New Mexican cuisine in Corrales.

Touring the new Corrales brewery

The 10,000-square-foot building where non-profit brewery Ex Novo will soon create and package its beer in Corrales is about half-way complete. Ex Novo Proprietor Joel Gregory gave tours of the company’s facility last weekend in concert with the Village of Corrales’ Arts Alive Festival.

“It’s a big relief to build out from the ground and see things in 3D,” Gregory said. “It definitely looks bigger now that it’s built than it did on the renderings and on paper.”

Getting the building to this point has been a year in the making.

“This is my first business planned from the ground up,” he said. “My whole life has just been remodels, so this is very new to me.”

After the brewery section is complete, construction on an adjoining restaurant/pub will begin.

“We could easily be ready in a month to be brewing,” Gregory said. “We still need our license approved by the government and then things can move faster.”

Gregory said he plans to release 50 new beers to be bottled and canned for the New Mexico market.

Above all, Gregory said, he is proud to offer a product that says it was made in Corrales, N.M.

A business that bends over backward

Construction continues on the 10,000-square-foot Ex Novo Brewery in Corrales. Although it isn’t complete, Ex Novo founder Joel Gregory gave Corrales residents a tour of the facility.

YogaSix is opening its first location at 5901 Wyoming Boulevard NE, in the Academy area. Owned by local entrepreneurs Jessica and Brian Rule, president of Blake’s Lotaburger, the YogaSix Academy has a range of classes for all levels and ages, according to a press release.

YogaSix memberships start at $94 a month leading up to its official grand opening in March. YogaSix will also be offering free classes to all guests both opening weekend and grand opening weekend.

YogaSix is having a soft opening this week, with hours on Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We are excited to bring YogaSix to Albuquerque to breathe new life into the wellness and yoga scene,” Jessica Rule said in a press release. “No matter what your background, yoga can be beneficial, be that physical, mental or spiritual, and YogaSix makes the practice so accessible for everybody. We think the new studio will perfectly complement the health and fitness offerings in the area, while bringing something new to local residents.”