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Il Vicino concocts new brewery experience

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Welcome to a whole new brewery experience from Il Vicino.

The company just opened up a bigger and better version of its brewery at 2381 Aztec NE, offering a little something more than you might expect.

“It’s hard to find a tap room in Albuquerque that has a patio, good service and good food,” said Darcy Peterson, general manager of IVB Canteen, the newest version of Il Vicino Brewery.

The brewery had occupied a smaller location on Vassar NE just north of Comanche since 1998. It was a 4,000-square-foot space that sat 10 to 12 and offered just the beer. The lease on that location ended last year, Peterson said.

Construction on a new 6,500-square-foot location began in September and eight months and $350,000 to $400,000 later, an old trucking warehouse southeast of Comanche and I-25 NE was transformed into IVB Canteen. IVB stands for Il Vicino Brewery, in case you are wondering.

“(Customers) used to hang out in a closet before,” Peterson said. “I think of it as we extended their closet.”

The new location offers more space for brewing, more space for drinking brew — seating for 75 inside and 85 outside at wood picnic benches, and a bigger window to see the brewing process.

It also has servers and a simple menu of seven sandwiches and four appetizers — including a brewers board offering a selection of meats, cheeses and bread. Food ranges from $4.25 to $9.75.

IVB Canteen offers a pilsner, an amber, an IPA, a brown, a red and a stout as well as other specialities and seasonal brews on tap. Beer is $2.75 for a ten-ounce glass, $4 for a 16-ounce glass and $4.75 for a 22-ounce glass.

Peterson said the brewery will offer music on some days and plans to have specials for bicyclists. Aztec Road NE dead-ends at the North Channel Trail, a main avenue for cyclists, she said.

Le Cumbre Brewing Co. also opened in that area not too long ago and the two breweries are working to complement each other, Peterson said.

“We want this to be a destination,” she said.

Il Vicino owners Greg Atkin, Rick Post, and Tom White also own IVB Canteen.

Hours are Sunday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight. Call the location at 881-2737 or visit

Slice Parlor

New York-style pizza is coming soon to Nob Hill.

You can thank friends Doug Crowder and Adam Moffett for that.

The pair has taken over the space formerly occupied by ¡Que Chula! at 3410 Central SE and is in the process of transforming it into Slice Parlor, which will offer New York-style pizza and beer.

The 1,650-square-foot space is undergoing a complete remodel — including getting a kitchen — at a cost of about $70,000 to $80,000.

Moffett owns Hookah Kings at 9784 Coors NW and also makes a mean pizza, he says.

Crowder has known Moffett for years and says he couldn’t resist getting involved with the pizza concept.

“We’re really serious about having the best New York pizza,” Moffett told the Journal during an interview at the location on Central west of Carlisle.

The location will offer whole pizzas, slices, calzones and salads, mostly local beers on tap and more for sit-down or carry-out when it opens this month.

Menu items will run about $3.50 to $10, expect for the pies, which will be under $20, Moffett said.

Moffett said they would not have opened a pizza concept anywhere but Nob Hill.

“There’s a niche there because not only do you have walk-in traffic but there’s not really a low-cost and convenient food option there.”

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, with possible late-night hours on Fridays and Saturdays.

For more, call 232-2808 or visit

¡Que Chula!

Now, you are probably wondering what happened to the Mexican imports store that used to grace Nob Hill. The retail location closed at the end of December but the glassware, flowers, textiles, sacred hearts you were used to getting at ¡Que Chula! can now be purchased online, along with the Del Corazon Collection, the company’s own line of jewelry.

A warehouse location at 510 Monroe SE also carries some items and is available for viewing by appointment.

Beverly Cole, owner, said the warehouse offers smaller items that are easier to ship. Eventually, ¡Que Chula! will offer truckload sales where larger items like equipale furniture — pigskin furniture found around Mexico that the retail location used to carry — can be purchased.

¡Que Chula! opened at 1427 Carlisle NE in 2003 and moved to Nob Hill in 2007. The store enjoyed a three-year run in Nob Hill before Cole decided to leave the area and focus on the company’s online side.

“That was always my end plan was just to have it be online,” Cole said.

Visit the store online at or call the warehouse at 255-1400 to schedule an appointment.

Send me morsels of retail and restaurant news by phone at 823-3820 or e-mail at



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