The Marble Brewery Tap Room is being forced to leave its prime position overlooking the Santa Fe Plaza.
The owners — who also have a brewery and a tap room in Albuquerque — say they’ve lost their lease on their top-floor space in the Santa Fe Arcade building, 60 E. San Francisco St., and are looking for a new location. Dec. 28 will be the Santa Fe tap room’s last day in its current space.
Brewmaster and co-founder Ted Rice said Monday that partners in the Marble Brewery operation are in discussions with Peter Komis, who owns a balcony-equipped space on the opposite side of block — at 125 E. Water St. — formerly occupied by Catamount Bar and Grille. But Rice said Komis wants more than Marble’s owners were hoping to pay and Rice isn’t sure if they will be able to come to terms.
Rice and partner Jeff Ginnette were mum about whether family dynamics played any role in the loss of the lease. The Santa Fe Arcade building — where Marble has been located for the past four years — is owned by Gerald Peters, whose sons Devin Peters and Soren Peters are two of the five partners in the Marble Brewery venture.
Ginnette — who worked for Peters’ Santa Fe Dining group for 17 years before leaving to devote his time to Marble Brewery — said the decision seems to be based on finances.
“[Peters’] sons own part of Marble, but he can put a business that he owns all of in there. He has an opportunity to do that, so he’s going to do so,” Ginnette said. “It seems like economics. We’re on the losing end of it. We’re not happy to be leaving. We like that spot, but business is business.”
The partners say they think Peters — who owns microbrewery operations including the Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery on Cerrillos Road and the Chama River Brewing Company in Albuquerque, as well as several other Santa Fe eateries, including Rio Chama Steakhouse, La Casa Sena and Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen — will install his own tap room in the space.
“As far as I understand it will be a Santa Fe Dining tap room concept,” Rice said.
Jim Hargrove, president of Santa Fe Dining, said he couldn’t comment Monday, but that “as things move forward, it will be easier to chat about this.” Calls to Peters’ gallery and Southwest Asset Management, the group that manages the Santa Fe Arcade, were not returned Monday. Soren Peters referred a caller to Rice.
Ginnette said the Marble Brewery partners hope to find a new space quickly enough to keep the tap room’s approximately 10 workers employed. If that doesn’t happen, Rice said, their employees may end up working for the business that takes over the space on the Plaza.
“It’s definitely unfortunate,” Rice said.“But we’re just kind of moving along, making a great beer and making sure we get it into the hands of people that love it.”
Rice said Marble Brewery has increased its production each year it has been in business, growing from making about 5,000 barrels of beer its first year to about 13,000 this year, and typically has more wholesale business than it can handle. He said the brewery will probably shift more in that direction as it looks for a new retail outlet.
“This will definitely affect our bottom line, but it’s not going to make or break this company by any means,” Rice said. “The beer will flow. It will just flow somewhere else. We’ll figure out a plan and come back stronger with a place that is going to be a great community hub.”
Greer Enterprises, which owns the Plaza Galeria mini-mall adjoining the Santa Fe Arcade, has received design approval from the city Historic Districts Review Board to create a second-floor balcony atop the covered sidewalk on San Francisco Street overlooking the Plaza’s south side. However, the architect said late last month that no decision had been made on dining uses for the balcony, which would require City Council approval.
Contact Phaedra Haywood at 986-3068 or email@example.com.