New wine bar to open in Nob Hill - Albuquerque Journal

New wine bar to open in Nob Hill

“Breweries, breweries, breweries.”

That’s what Jessica Beecher says she’s seen opening for the past 15 years in Albuquerque — a tough market for a wine lover like herself. That’s one of the reasons she decided that Albuquerque needed a wine bar.

With her husband Seth Beecher (who previously owned Ambrozia Cafe & Wine Bar), and friends Mariessa Sanchez and Paul Chavez, Beecher founded Central Bodega, which will have its grand opening Aug. 13. The Nob Hill wine bar is located on 3418 Central SE. Among the four owners and the staff, Beecher says, they have over 100 years of restaurant experience.

“I love wine. I love all things about it — to make it, and sell it and drink it,” Beecher said. “So yeah, there’s a lot of passion there.”

Beecher and her husband own Mission Winery in the North Valley, and Beecher is currently studying enology and viticulture (the study of wines and wine agriculture) at UC Davis. Beecher said that although New Mexico is the oldest wine-growing region in the U.S., she felt that there was little interest in the industry for many years.

Now, Beecher says, “a passion for wine is coming back” to the state. Her own wine will appear on the menu at Central Bodega.

The restaurant pairs Spanish, Italian and French cuisine with its list of 60 wines. The menu was inspired by the co-owners’ respective travels in Europe.

“Their emphasis there is: food is not just food,” Beecher said. “It’s … a time to gather with loved ones and friends and reconnect over a meal and good drinks.”

Like its bodega namesake, the Nob Hill restaurant has to-go sandwiches behind the deli counter, and a retail section that offers everything from fruit preserves to barbecue sauce and kombucha (produced by Albuquerque maker Urbanmama505). Everything is made by small artisans.

Similarly, the menu features local ingredients and will change based on the seasons.

“We have been…running through the menu like crazy and trying and sampling and tweaking everything to get it just the way we all want it to taste,” Beecher said.

Buying local is important to Beecher.

“We’re gonna continue to build businesses and put our money back into Albuquerque because we all believe in Albuquerque, and we all love Albuquerque,” Beecher said. “And we want to see it thrive and grow.”

All four owners were born and raised in New Mexico. Beecher said there was no question where the partners were going to locate the restaurant — it had to be Nob Hill.

“We love Nob Hill,” Beecher said. “We’ve been watching things go from bustling and booming to being hit by COVID and everything else that shut down so many businesses. So we’re super excited to be a part of that and to watch the revival of Nob Hill — and be an integral part of it, hopefully.”

 

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