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Lotaburger gets a new look

210500

City of Albuquerque Planning documents Documents submitted to the City of Albuquerque show the existing Blake\’s Lotaburger on Coors and Fortuna NW and what it will look like when redeveloped.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s time for a new-look Lotaburger.

One of Albuquerque’s best known restaurant brands has begun changing its profile with a new restaurant design meant to freshen what is now a 64-year-old brand. Blake’s Lotaburger has confirmed plans to replace three metro area locations with updated versions as part of a larger strategy to rebuild or open 10 locations over the course of the coming year, marketing director Lucy Rosen said Monday.

The present docket includes rebuilding existing stores in Los Lunas, Bernalillo and at Coors and Fortuna NW in Albuquerque. A new location is scheduled to open next month in Tucson — the city’s second Blake’s after the first opened there on April 1.

Rosen could not say yet where else the company would be adding stores or which current locations would get the overhaul. The company will take a look at its 78-store inventory and make the decisions on a case-by-case basis, she said.

Out-of-state Lotaburger fans already have seen the new look, which was used at one of the three El Paso locations and at the first Tucson store, Rosen said. It will be used in all new projects going forward, a way to modernize the iconic burger brand. Rosen described the design — spearheaded by Albuquerque’s Modulus Architects — as “sleek” and inviting with more space (about 2,700 square feet total) for customers. Its multidimensional facade and earth-toned colors stand in stark contrast to some of the oldest, blocky, white structures still in use around the chain.

The new-look Blake’s is “a place you would want to come and sit down and eat,” Rosen said.

The food will remain the same.

“Having a history of being in business for 60-plus years they didn’t have to do this (rebranding),” she said. “Nobody was complaining about it because the food was so awesome.

“It was something everybody felt like this is the time to do it.”

She said the Los Lunas tear down should begin soon with the replacement due by early fall. The Bernalillo overhaul hasn’t been scheduled because it involves a move. The new site will be across the street from the Santa Ana Star Casino, she said.

The Coors location remains subject to some City of Albuquerque approvals so the timeframe remains unknown.

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