ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For many potential restaurateurs, opening a new restaurant during the pandemic would seem like a daunting or nearly impossible task.
But for Linda Zamora and her business partner, Bryan Thompson, the pandemic actually provided them greater opportunities for their new location of Rosemary.
“I actually think because this one opened near the tail end that it’s kind of been a benefit for us,” Zamora said. “People are so excited that things are opening up and they’re going out more, so I think we’re kind of reaping the benefits of that.”
Rosemary, at 9821 Montgomery NE, opened at the end of May.
This is not Zamora’s or Thompson’s first foray into the restaurant industry. The partners already own the original location of Rosemary on San Mateo, and also operate two stalls in Downtown food hall 505 Central.
Zamora said they have been looking for a larger space for a second location of Rosemary and the new space “checked all of the boxes.”
“It’s a beautiful location, it’s got a full bar in there and we’ll have space for two patios,” she said.
The menu at the new Montgomery location will be similar to the flagship location with one important difference: The restaurant’s signature rosemary roasted chicken will be off the menu for now due to a lack of oven space.
Zamora said she thinks the new location will be an excellent addition to the neighborhood since there is not a similar restaurant in the area and the atmosphere is good both for people wanting a more casual meal and for those wanting finer dining.
Rosemary is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Rosemary is closed Mondays.
Whiting Coffee changes hands
For nearly 40 years Whiting Coffee has been a consistent purveyor of locally roasted coffee for its loyal group of customers with Norm and Ann Whiting at the helm of the company.
But now the business is in new hands.
Michael and Brandi Phlieger, owners of the Downtown cafe Java Joe’s, purchased the company from the Whitings earlier this year. After several months of training and familiarizing themselves with the company, the Phliegers are now running the business while the Whitings enjoy retirement.
Whiting Coffee, at 3700 Osuna NE, specializes in selling coffee roasted in house by the pound or through wholesale and also sells a variety of goods like teas, spices and chocolate bars.
Michael Phlieger said the Whitings were careful to sell the business to another local family who would be able to continue the business in a similar fashion since many of the company’s customers have been loyal to the coffee roaster for several decades.
“They wanted another family to come in that kind of understood and respected the older crowd and wouldn’t just make an aggressive amount of changes,” he said.
While Phlieger said the company will continue to operate in much of the same ways, he is planning on making a few updates, like moving the cash-only business to one that accepts credit cards, creating a website and establishing a social media presence, and adding new local products like honeys and jams to sell in store.
Phlieger says the transition has been fairly smooth. Some customers are a little skeptical of the transition, but familiar faces behind the counter, like the Whitings’ son Jon, have helped.
“We’re very grateful for (the Whitings) for effectively choosing us to carry on the tradition,” he said.
Whiting Coffee is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
Weems opens new location
Longtime Albuquerque destination Weems Gallery and Framing is holding a grand opening for its new location Wednesday.
Owner Sheila McVeigh, who purchased the gallery from its namesake owner Mary Ann Weems in 2019, said she wanted to have a celebration to commemorate the move of the longtime gallery.
The new space, at 5935 Wyoming NE, is roughly the same size as the previous location, but McVeigh says the layout is more conducive to its needs.
“It feels larger,” she said. “It’s fresh, and clean, and new, and beautiful.”
Like its previous space, the new location will feature a wide array of local artists who work in a variety of mediums, but McVeigh said the gallery will now group artists together in order to make the shopping experience easier.
She said the gallery narrowed down its selection of artists to 164.
Though the gallery officially reopened in its new location in April, McVeigh said she wanted to hold off on an opening celebration until the gallery was fully set up.
To celebrate the opening, Weems is giving customers who purchase items on June 16 vouchers worth around 25% of their purchase. Vouchers can then be used on other purchases at a later date.
Weems is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
ABQ accounting firm expands
Albuquerque-based accounting firm Solutions Accounting has expanded into Texas with a new office in Houston, according to the company.
Along with the expansion, Jay Rypma joined the company as chief operations officer.
Pilar Martinez covers retail and commercial real estate for the Journal. She can be reached at email@example.com.