ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The husband and wife behind Tako Ten at Bridges on Tramway are capitalizing on their success with plans to open up two additional restaurants there this summer.
Joshua Gomez and Michelle Waterson said Thai Street and Refresh are slated to open at Bridges on Tramway, at 12501 Candelaria NE, this June.
“(There’s) an opportunity to be had here in Albuquerque to really get creative with different restaurant and food concepts,” Waterson said. “I know that it’s been a rough year for all the restaurants because of COVID, but, you know, our mentality about it is … ‘if we can conquer the winter, then everything else is gonna be a breeze.'”
The couple said they think both restaurants will bring new offerings that Albuquerque hasn’t seen before.
“We’ve been to Thailand a few times and (we’re) trying to bring that outside street look inside,” Gomez said. “At the same time, you know, bringing good Thai food here to Albuquerque.”
He said the restaurant’s menu will include staples like curry, but also street food that is less commonly seen at Thai restaurants in the U.S.
“There’s this whole other like urban street vibe to Thailand that not a lot of people get to experience unless they’ve been there,” Waterson said. “The street food in Thailand is just as amazing as any fine dining restaurant, almost sometimes better because it’s cooked with soul and heart.”
The other restaurant concept, Refresh, was inspired by the lack of fast, healthy food options. Waterson said it will be a convenient choice for people who “want to fill their bodies with good healthy meals that are also tasty.”
Refresh will include drinks with coffee and caffeine alternative drinks, smoothies and bowls with proteins, vegetables and grains, she said.
She said the options will also include a list of the different macros which will make it easy for people on diets or nutrition plans.
“That’s our goal is to try to teach people how to understand their body and what works for them,” she said.
Cheba Hut expands, reopens location
There will soon be a few more options in New Mexico to satiate your munchies.
Cheba Hut, a cannabis-themed sandwich chain, has expanded its University area location and is planning on opening several new locations in New Mexico by end of next year, according to local franchise owner Isaac Montoya.
“It’s such a good time (to expand) as we kind of exit this COVID pandemic,” Montoya said. “People are going to be wanting to go out and have fun again – you know, go eat at different places without being worried that they’re going to get COVID.”
Montoya, who has owned the University area location at 115 Harvard SE since 2014, said a Coronado-area location will open this summer at Menaul and Louisiana, and next year will see two locations open in Las Cruces.
The additional locations follow a remodel and expansion of the restaurant’s Harvard location, completed in mid-April.
Montoya said it was time for the restaurant to be renovated and various business restrictions made it easier to temporarily close the restaurant for the expansion. It also allowed the restaurant to grow from 1,800 square feet to 2,400 square feet and add a second patio.
He said he is excited about the new locations and expansions because it allows him to hire additional employees. Each location employs around 40 people.
Landscape company opens third office
Yellowstone Landscape West Region opened a third New Mexico location last week, according to the company.
The new location, at 22 El Cerro Loop in Los Lunas, will serve Los Lunas and customers south of Albuquerque, the company said.
“Yellowstone has been providing design, install and maintenance to the Los Lunas area for several years, including the Facebook data center and the Huning Ranch area,” regional vice president Jon Richardson said in a news release announcing the location.
Richardson said the new location will allow the company to continue providing services in the area.
Formerly known as Heads Up Landscape Contractors, Yellowstone Landscape provides design, installation and maintenance services for commercial and residential properties.
Fried chicken franchise looks to expand into NM
Slim Chickens, an international fast casual franchise specializing in fried chicken, announced plans to open a New Mexico location this year, according to the company.
According to a company spokesperson, the company will expand with 10 locations in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and El Paso. The franchises will be operated by Dennis Ekstrom, who also operates 10 Del Taco locations.
“Slim Chickens is the perfect addition to my portfolio,” Ekstrom said in a release. “When I was introduced to the Slim Chickens brand, I was immediately sold on the concept – this brand is something special to be a part of.”
Slim Chickens is one of several out-of-state franchise restaurants to announce their intention to move into New Mexico this year. Both El Pollo Loco and Gyro Shack also announced plans to seek out potential franchisees in the state.
Slim Chickens operates 125 locations internationally and has more than 500 locations in development, according to the company.
The restaurant’s menu consists of fried chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, wings, desserts and waffles.
Pilar Martinez covers retail and commercial real estate for the Journal. She can be reached at email@example.com.