ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With its massive techni-colored murals, jutting angles of steel, exposed wood, and 360-degree view of Albuquerque, Tin Can Alley is a far cry from most developments in the far Northeast Heights – and that’s exactly how it was intended.
“I think we’re going to fill a need that people have for wanting to be able to have something that is local,” creator and developer Roy Solomon said.
Following some coronavirus-related delays, Tin Can Alley at 6110 Alameda NE, opened its doors to customers Saturday, though only for take-out orders and patio service.
Solomon said opening phases will change based on public health orders. As of June 1, restaurants are able to have dine-in customers at a 50% capacity.
“We’ll be opening under the new world, basically,” Solomon said.
Much like predecessor Green Jeans Farmery and other food halls and central markets, Tin Can Alley is home to multiple eateries with focuses on multiple different cuisines.
Patrons can meet up while grabbing food from a variety of counter service-style eateries, but Solomon said the establishment wasn’t designed to just be a food hall.
“We’re really not about being a food hall,” he said.
Solomon said much care was taken when selecting tenants. It was important to him that each business could work together and get along.
“The tenants are everything in my world and their quality and positive energy and kindness and caring comes through as a group. It’s really cool,” Solomon said. “It feels like home already and we haven’t even opened yet.”
While a full opening will depend on a change to the public health order, each of the tenants is open for take-out and patio service.
Each eatery has a set of doors facing the parking lot which allows to-go orders to be brought directly to customers waiting in their cars.
Tin Can Alley will house 10 businesses.
Santa Fe Brewing Company will anchor the development and take up about 8,500 square feet between its indoor and outdoor sections. The brewery will offer 30 drinks on tap.
Tenants Nitro Fog Creamery and Amore Neopolitan Pizzerias both also have locations at Green Jeans Farmery.
Other tenants are Nob Hill mainstays Michael Thomas Coffee Roasters and Guava Tree Cafe. It will be the first Northeast Heights location for the coffee shop and the second location for the cafe.
Solomon, who has previously operated businesses in Nob Hill, said Tin Can Alley was an opportunity to bring the unique businesses and large murals common in that area up to an area where that isn’t as common.
“It’s something unique and different and it adds so much,” he said.
Other tenants include Squeezed Juice Bar, Pho Kup, and Cocoa Flora.
Tin Can Alley is just one of the latest food-hall style developments to open this year in Albuquerque.
In mid-March Sawmill Market on Bellamah near Rio Grande opened briefly before having to temporarily close following the pandemic outbreak.
505 Central, the food hall at Central Ave and 5th Street, is slated to open this year and The Highland Central Market is still currently under construction.
Oni opens to fanfare
The ramen pop-up-turned-storefront restaurant Oni opened its storefront location May 22 to a ravenous crowd, selling out within 10 minutes.
With public health orders restricting dine-in customers for restaurants still in effect, Oni’s first soft opening took place mostly online.
Customers placed orders on the Oni website several hours before the restaurant opened, paid digitally and were given a pick-up time – an entirely contactless experience, co-owner Daniel Linver said.
Linver said customers were excited to get their hands on the restaurant’s ramen since Oni put a stop to its pop-ups around six months ago in order to fully focus on getting the storefront location up and running.
Although dine-in service for restaurants is able to resume as of today, Linver said that Oni will hold off on allowing customers in the dining area for at least another three weeks, co-owner and chef David Gaspar De Alba said.
He said the focus will be on keeping staff and customers safe.
This is the first storefront location for Oni. The restaurant got its start with a series of pop-ups at Marble Brewery in 2017 before turning into a food truck, Linver said.
Once fully opened, Oni will be a counter service restaurant serving homemade ramen made of ingredients sourced from New Mexican farms.
Oni is at 600 Central SW, suite 100. Orders can be picked up between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Orders open two hours prior to the restaurant opening, and patrons are encouraged to order as soon as online ordering is available. Orders can be made at www.oniabq.com/menu.
WisePies adds frozen to the menu
Kroger grocery store shoppers craving a frozen green chile pizza can now buy just that.
WisePies Pizza announced last week that the company will begin offering bake at home pizzas at Kroger grocery stores in the southwestern United States, including Smith’s in New Mexico.
The initial launch will feature two choices: Hatch Green Chile Four Cheese Pizza and Hatch Green Chile Uncured Pepperoni Pizza.
This will be the first frozen pizza company from New Mexico, a spokesperson from the company said.
Airsoft arena coming to SE ABQ
A new airsoft gun arena will be making its way to the Southeast Heights later this year.
Ruckus Tactical plans to open in August at 200 San Mateo SE near the intersection of San Mateo and Central.
Owner Garrett Ferguson also owns Ruckus Paintball on Albuquerque’s West Side and said he chose to open the second location due to its central location and close proximity to Kirtland Air Force base and the University of New Mexico.
The location will be an indoors airsoft arena.
Ferguson expects construction to begin in the next few weeks.