Introduction to Venues, ABQ 505
A primer on concert geography
ArtBar stimulates thirst for arts endeavors
Artists famously drink to stimulate inspiration. However, at ArtBar, the money artists spend goes into the community and perhaps back into their own pockets as well.
ArtBar, an arm of Catalyst Club Inc., is a members-only performance space and bar created to support local art. They accomplish this by donating their annual net profits to various art-based nonprofits around New Mexico. (See previous Alibi coverage here.) It’s a unique idea that came to fruition last week when ArtBar opened its doors on July 11 to its founding members.
The venue was spacious, accentuated by high ceilings and sizeable windows that skirted much of the building. A large chandelier hung near the stage, refracting light onto excited art lovers, sponsors, organizers and artistes alike. The alluring aroma of Lobster Mac n Cheese drifted from a small kitchen operated by The Supper Truck. Large black comfy couches provided space to sip Bulleit Bourbon and people watch: skinny jeans-wearing hipsters, artsy girls in bright summer dresses, suited professionals and sandal-wearing vacation types. A well-stocked bar, despite its small beer selection, quenched the thirst of members as they danced to Carlos the Tall, a local cover band.
Though the opening night party went off without a hitch, ArtBar is still finding its footing in terms of target audience. The decor felt a little sterile, aside from a cool red light along the bar and a few paintings. It was suggested to me that the lack of original music and art on display represented a missed opportunity to get the local art community involved. Striking a balance between a youthful, beer-drinking, artistic crowd and an older and likely wealthier one will be essential to ArtBar’s survival. Hopefully, further artist involvement will become an integral part of this balance as they continue to grow.
With membership at $30 per year, ArtBar is an easy way to give back to the art community. A membership can be purchased at the door or from their website. I mean really, where else can you practice philanthropy by simply drinking a delicious beverage?
Drinking in Bernalillo
Does that idea depress you? If you’re at Silva’s Saloon—the nearly century-old Bernalillo bar that’s passed through three generations of one family—you could wind up as happy as a lubricated clam. This week’s feature sifts through layers of the beloved dive bar’s history, patrons and tchotchkes. Oh, and did we mention the place is for sale—lock, stock and barrel?
Hi Ho Silvas
A historic saloon keeps Bernalillo’s spirits up, even as the Silva family rides off into the sunset
Silva’s Saloon is the subject of town lore. More than a few Bernalillo old timers believe it has an underground tunnel that was used to transport illegal booze. (It doesn't.) That proprietor Felix Silva Sr. kept nine loaded guns stashed throughout the building, just in case. (True.) That a CIA agent used the pay phone to call in to headquarters. (Also true.)
Booze, huevos, pizza and miso
Entertainment genre demographics
On average, what kind of nightlife do Albuquerque, Santa Fe and surrounding areas have to offer? Based on a sample taken from this week’s Music Calendar, a lot of DJs. People playing prerecorded music of various forms, formats and qualities is nearly twice as common as the next highest ranking genre—jazz. Rock, Americana (which includes folk, singer-songwriter, alt.country and bluegrass) and karaoke rounded out the top five. For proportional illustration, view the makeup of the Alibi’s Music Calendar in this appetizing pie chart.
Have Fork, Will Travel
7 Dive Bar Wonders
Our “7 Wonders”-themed Summer Guide feature would be remiss without a tour of New Mexico’s most infamous watering holes. While you’re out exploring this enchanting state of ours, remember to spend a few hours planted on a well-worn barstool. You’re bound to learn a story or two and pick up a little local color—not to mention the potential friends (or enemies) you’ll acquire along the way. Bottoms up!
Best of Burque 2011
The High Life
Best Bar Staff
Hey Bartenders ...
Squeezethegoddamnlimeintomydrink! Or, kindly set it on the rim of the drinking vessel—have some class, dude. Making people fish fruit out of icy five dollar liquid is not cool.
Bars shouldn't just be conduits of booze—pride should be taken in the creation of drinks. Might our city's lackadaisical bartenders take a hint from Tales of the Cocktail. This conference, held every summer in New Orleans, celebrates the grand tradition of coquetiers, pronounced koh-kuh-TYAYS. July being far off, another, less humid option is The Craft of the Cocktail, a book that claims to make master bartenders out of its readers.
Anyway, squeeze the lime, OK?
The Afterlife of Albuquerque Bars and Restaurants: Part II
Hallelujah! My Sisyphusian task of sorting through the Alibi's ancient calendar contact records is completed. As promised, here's the second half of the extinct places I shook loose from our database, and what's become of them since. (The first half is here. ... And I knocked it down from 989 records to 650 on the nose, in unlikely event you were wondering.)
Rio Grande Yacht Club --> ?
Rio Grande Cantina --> St. Clair Winery & Bistro
Café Broadway --> Several places, all gone now
Café Voila --> ?
Town House Lounge --> Still empty
Café Next Door (it was next door to Brothers and Sisters) --> Still empty
Copeland’s Restaurant --> Still empty
Johnny Carino's --> 1st location (next to Sweet Tomatoes) empty, second (Century Rio lot) is Nick + Jimmy's (from Yanni's)
Gin Mill --> looks like a "discount steakhouse" has opened there
Café Riviera --> several galleries/cafes, all closed now
La Siringitu --> Wimpy Burger --> Little Red Hamburger Hut
Mr. K’s Chinese Restaurant (formerly New Chinatown) --> empty
Blue Corn Tap Room --> Chama River Tap Room
Jamaica Jamaica --> New "bistro" of some sort
Graze (and Kanome before that) --> Nob Hill Bar and Grill
Relaxations --> A boxing gym?
Mediterranean Café --> Quesada's
Alfredo's Coffeehouse --> empty
Marty G.’s Diner --> I think this later became that Hot Diggity Dog place over on North Second, which is also long-gone
Blu (the back half of Pulse, totally 80s) --> empty
Empire ( + G-Spot Lounge) --> half of O'Neill's
Albuquerque Mining Company --> empty
The Phoenix --> ?
District Bar & Grill --> empty
Swig (Santa Fe) --> uh, Fusion Restaurant & Night Club? No idea.
Gulp --> Nob Hill Bar and Grill
Harlow's on the Hill (which was Club Rhythm & Blues before that) --> Obama for President HQ, now empty
Ground Zero --> ?
Bear Assets Bar --> I just talked to Joe Anderson about this place. He mentioned he's working on a new venue there. Gutting the place. Installing live American roots music like blues, Rockabilly. That part of town could really use a good neighborhood joint at night.
Nuts and Bolts --> ?
Laffs Comedy Club --> empty
Out ch’Yonda --> empty?
Hiland Theater --> giant meth lab
Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre --> Village Roaster Coffee
Donkey Gallery --> empty. (and Larry Bob moved to Cruces)
Sol Arts --> Cirq
Windchime Champagne Gallery --> Empty
VERB Collective --> See "Cafe Riviera"
STOVE --> Black Market Goods
The Agency --> looks like someone's doing something in there. Anyone got any leads?
Red or Green? --> more tattoos?
Alphaville Video --> Heart + Soul salon
The Cigar Lounge --> empty
Hunab Hookah Lounge --> See VERB Collective, Cafe Riviera
The Afterlife of Albuquerque Bars and Restaurants
989. That’s how many FileMaker records need to be sifted through in order to clean up our tired old calendars database. Each record represents a venue—a bar, a gallery, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a theater—where something was or is listed in our paper. This is going to take a while.
Of course, many of these places are gone now. That’s why I’m going through all those records, to weed out the expired ones. I’ve only gone through the first 100 so far. Here’s a preliminary list of Albuquerque bar/restaurant type places that used to be but are no more, and what’s become of those addresses since.
Sisters’ and Brothers’ Bookstore was right next door to Insomnia Coffeehouse --> both are still empty
Blue Dragon --> still empty
IryshMac’s Coffeehouse --> Rasoi Indian Cuisine
Pearl’s Dive --> Blackbird Buvette
Golden West Saloon --> ash and rubble
Chelsea Street Pub & Grill --> eaten by Coronado
O’Niell’s Uptown --> Uptown Sports Bar
Le Café Miche --> still empty, right?
Midnight Rodeo/Gotham--> still empty
Rio Grande Big Dog’s Grill --> still empty, right?
Martini Grille --> Cosmo
Raw, Liquid Lounge --> Sauce, Proof
The Walls --> Farina Pizza
Our Place II --> paparazzi nightclub
Joker's Pub --> Wileys
Pulse --> still empty
La Posada de Albuquerque --> still empty
OPM --> Lotus
Sonny’s Bar and Grille --> still empty
La Piazza --> Fremonts Fine Foods
Famous Sam’s --> still empty
Brian O’Brien’s --> still empty, fire damage
Albuquerque Petroleum Club --> still empty
Assets Grille --> Independence Grill
Stella Blue --> La Provence
La Cuisine French Bistro --> 100 other restaurants that also closed
New Chinatown Restaurant --> still empty
The Paramount, Santa Fe --> a big dirt pit