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Marble Brewery, Tecolote heading into Luna district

Luna mixed-use space under construction in Santa Fe,

Several businesses are now moving into the Luna mixed-use space under construction in Santa Fe, photographed Tuesday, January 14, 2014. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE, N.M. — Marble Brewery’s on-again, off-again relationship with the City Different is back on again – and in a big way.

The Albuquerque-based brewery lost its lease on its popular balcony spot overlooking the Plaza last year and left that space in the Santa Fe Arcade building on Dec. 29.

But beginning in early March, Marble will reopen its tap room in a venue in the Luna development at Cerrillos and Manhattan, the now rapidly-developing retail and mixed-use complex that already features Ohori’s Coffee, the Talin Market and other stores.

“We started looking for a new space in October and saw a lot of different locations. … But we have a certain profile we’re looking for, and a lot of what we saw were restaurants or retail shops that didn’t have the right amenities for us,” Marble president Jeff Jinnett said.

Construction in the Luna mixed-use space in Santa Fe

Spaces for Marble Brewing Company, top, and Tecolote Cafe are under construction in the Luna mixed-use space in Santa Fe, photographed Tuesday, January 14, 2014. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

“Then we found the Luna development and decided on taking a temporary location in a downstairs location while we build a larger space upstairs.

“The (Luna) is a really high-end development done by Ken Joseph – it’s going to be beautiful when it’s finished.

“… For now, we’re calling this our pop-up tap room until we complete our permanent (upstairs) location.”

Marble is moving in with another major tenant for Luna – the venerable Tecolote Café, a Santa Fe mainstay since 1980 at its current location a bit to the south at 1203 Cerrillos, according to developer Joseph.

Efforts to reach the Tecolote owners for comment Tuesday on the restaurant’s Luna endeavor and the future of operations at its current building were unsuccessful.

Joseph said the drawings for the Tecolote interior at Luna were being finalized and he expected the restaurant to open at its Luna site in “late spring,” probably May. The Marble Brewery establishment will open sooner, he said.

The Luna district is being developed on the site of a former auto showroom and office-supply store. Three years into the five-year project, the development is really coming together, Joseph said.

He added that the large and not particularly appealing mechanical installation that has blocked the Ohori/Talin entrances will be moved “within a week.” It will not be placed on the roof, but in a less obtrusive area of the Luna campus.

As for Marble Brewery, based in Albuquerque, no date has been set for the completion of its approximately 2,500-square foot space, overlooking Cerillos Road and situated directly above the new Tecolote location.

Jinnett said he’s already working on a partnership with the iconic Santa Fe eatery to allow patrons of Marble to dine on fare from Tecolote, much like the partnership the brewery had with Rooftop Pizzeria at its old locale on the Plaza.

“We haven’t worked out the details yet – we just made this deal yesterday – but we will have food and Marble beer just like we did in the tap room downtown,” Jinnett said on Tuesday.

Keeping momentum

“Right now, we’re just focusing on getting open as soon as possible so all our Marble regulars can get their favorite Marble beers, and we won’t lose momentum in Santa Fe.”

Along with the reopening in Santa Fe, Marble – which started in 2008 – also has two tap rooms in Albuquerque, with its West Side location having opened in 2012. Marble now produces 13,000 barrels of beer annually, up from 4,000 barrels in 2010, serving three states including Arizona and southern Colorado.

Craft beer aficionados also should take note that Marble’s annual release of its Stout Americano coffee stout is slated for Jan. 22. The brewery is currently featuring its Reserve Ale 2014 and its Belgian-inspired Triple as its seasonal brews.

“The importance of having a tap room is that most of our beers aren’t available in packages; they’re only available on draft,” Jinnett said.

“Now we can make sure Santa Feans will always have a place to get them.”

Freelance reporter Kate McGraw contributed to this report.