With Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction finally out of the way, a sense of optimism has returned to Nob Hill. On a recent Saturday night, the sidewalks were busy with couples and groups braving the cold weather to explore the neighborhood’s numerous dining and entertainment options.
The energy persisted at frenchish, Jennifer James’ 3-year-old restaurant on the north side of Central. By 7 p.m., the place was full, music thudding underneath a bed of conversation.
James, perhaps the city’s foremost chef, picked a challenging time to open the successor to her previous restaurant, Jennifer James 101 on Menaul. It was 2016, and work on the dedicated bus line was just getting underway. Businesses suffered greatly over the next three years of construction stops and starts, and some, including the upscale restaurant Elaine’s just a few doors down from frenchish, didn’t make it.