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A new wine bar is 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 difficult market for a wine lover like her. It’s one of the reasons she decided Albuquerque needed a wine bar.

Along 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 open August 13. The Nob Hill Wine Bar is located at 3418 Central SE. Of the four owners and staff, Beecher says, they have more than 100 years of restaurant experience.

” I like wine. I love everything about it – making it, selling it and drinking 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 viticultural agriculture) at UC Davis. Beecher said that although New Mexico was the oldest wine region in the United States, she felt there was little interest in the industry for many years.

Now, says Beecher, “a passion for wine is returning” to the state. His own wine will be on the menu at Central Bodega.

The restaurant combines Spanish, Italian and French cuisine with its 60-wine list. The menu is inspired by the respective travels of the co-owners in Europe.

“Their focus is that food isn’t just food,” Beecher said. “It’s…a time to get together with loved ones and friends and reconnect over a meal and good drinks.”

Like its bodega namesake, the Nob Hill restaurant offers take-out sandwiches behind the deli counter and a retail section that offers everything from canned fruit to barbecue sauce and kombucha (produced by the Albuquerque maker Urbanmama505). Everything is made by small craftsmen. The restaurant will also sell take-out sandwiches and other treats.

Likewise, the menu features local ingredients and will change with the seasons.

“We … scoured the menu like crazy and tried, sampled and tweaked everything to get it exactly how we all want it,” Beecher said.

Buying local is important to Beecher.

“We will continue to build businesses and reinvest our money back into Albuquerque because we all believe in Albuquerque and we all love Albuquerque,” Beecher said. “And we want to see it prosper and grow.”

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

“We love Nob Hill,” Beecher said. “We’ve seen things go from turmoil and boom to being hit by COVID and all that shut down so many businesses. So we’re very excited to be a part of that and to watch Nob Hill’s revival – and hopefully be a part of it.

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement