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Nov 01, 2022

Entrepreneur has plans to ‘boost ‘ west downtown with these dining concepts

Albuquerque Business First / Brian Fernandes / November 01, 2022

Entrepreneur Erin Wade has a vision to bolster Albuquerque’s west downtown area and it includes a series of new dining concepts along Central Avenue.

The end goal is to create a “dining district” that reflects consumer habits that have changed during and since the Covid-19 pandemic, Wade said. Over the past two-and-a-half years, diners have become focused on takeout, delivery, outdoor dining options and a memorable experience while dining.

“I’ve always strived to make my restaurants an extension of someone’s dining room where guests are celebrated, making memories and connecting with one another,” Wade said in a prepared statement. “But our community’s habits have changed drastically. As we’re settling into our new normal, it finally feels possible to look to the future again, and bring concepts to the area that are totally new to Albuquerque.”

The projects will be made into reality by Insight Construction based on designs from Maker Architects, a firm owned by Wade’s fiancé, Jeff Krolicki.

The food concepts between the 1700 block and 1900 block of Central Avenue include:

Schweinhund, a German meets New Mexican-style brewhouse slated to open in late 2023.

La Planta, a members-only club where patrons have access to food and beverage concepts as well as private events, is expected to open by early 2024.

Krolicki’s Fine Foods, a Polish-style deli concept offering breakfast, lunch, to-go options and takeaway dinners, is expected to open by late 2023.

A yet-to-be-named pizzeria — inspired by the film Mystic Pizza — slated to open by spring of 2023.

Tiny’s, an outdoor, on-the-go food stand located at the Country Club Plaza, is expected to open by the summer of 2023.

A commissary kitchen offering commercial kitchen space to prepare breads and preserved meats — among other foods — for each of the food options. It is expected to open by the Winter of 2023.

“These concepts are meant to work together … and the commissary kitchen is the engine that fuels them,” Wade said, referring to a communal space meant to increase efficiency among the different dining options and maximize the potential income per square foot. Wade is currently working with Jay Rembe, the owner of the properties.

Also in the works is the relocation of Wade’s Vinaigrette location to the building which housed Wade’s Modern General Feed and Seed restaurant. She leases both properties, also owned by Rembe, and has already signed a lease for Vinaigrette’s new location.

Located at 1720 Central Ave. SW, the Vinaigrette location spans 2,400 square feet and has the space to accommodate both a garden and bar area. The move is expected to occur by early 2023, and remodeling the interior will cost about $200,000.

Overall, Wade estimated that the Vinaigrette relocation and building out the dining concepts would cost about $3 million.

Wade, who is also a farmer and an author, has two other Vinaigrette locations in Santa Fe and Austin, Texas. For almost 15 years, she has managed six establishments across Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Wade currently resides on a micro-farm in the town of Nambe, where she cultivates produce for her businesses