Erin Wade is always in motion. And that nonstop restaurateur energy is powering her unique restaurant concept from Albuquerque and Santa Fe to Austin.
Wade, the owner of two locations of Vinaigrette — A Salad Bistro, told Business First she’ll open a third location on the edge of the booming South Congress district of Austin this year. Wade said customers often suggest out-of-state locations for Vinaigrette, but that one customer has pushed relentlessly for Austin.
“[She] eventually connected me with a real estate developer that knew the [Austin] market,” Wade said. “Austin has this incredible demographic. There are construction cranes everywhere, and the city is almost growing faster than its infrastructure.”
Wade opened Vinaigrette in Santa Fe in 2008 and in Albuquerque’s Country Club corridor in 2012. The restaurant, along with the Aveda Institute, are the anchors of a revival in the area between Old Town and Downtown. Jay Reme is in the midst of his Country Club Plaza project now, which features 5 Star Burgers and office and residential components.
Wade is considering taking her Modern General store concept to an Albuquerque location (she just opened one in Santa Fe) and would consider a second Albuquerque Vinaigrette location at some point, maybe in the Northeast Heights, she said.
For now, much of the focus will be on Austin, where Wade said she, along with her director of operations, Randy Ropek, hope to see renovations start next month and doors open in September. “It’s an old mid-century modern building, and we’ll do a full-scale renovation,” she said. “The size is almost identical [to Albuquerque] at about 3,000 square feet.”
Wade, whose ventures employ about 90 in all, said revenues at both Vinaigrette locations have increased every year she’s been open.