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Posted 25 Sep 17 By: No comments yet

Old El Vado Motel gets new Ponderosa taproom

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The El Vado Motel and Casa Grande properties are trading in the chain link fence for a wall of beer taps.

Construction is coming along at the site of the former El Vado Motel on Central, across from the ABQ BioPark, and the new El Vado Taproom is scheduled to open “in early November,” said Chad Rennaker of Palindrome Communities Development, a Portland, Ore.-based development group.

The taproom will showcase local beers from Ponderosa Brewing Co. Rennaker said the establishment will have 10 taps — four for permanent Ponderosa beers and six for the brewing company’s rotating and seasonal selections.

The new watering hole will be 700 square feet and, according to Rennaker, will be built in the former lobby of El Vado Motel. The taproom will face the large outdoor courtyard on the north side, while restaurants will be to the south of the courtyard.

“We really intend for it to be for the outdoor (customers),” Rennaker said.

Ponderosa Brewing has one location in Albuquerque, at 1761 Bellamah NW in the Sawmill District. Rennaker said El Vado Taproom will essentially be a second Ponderosa location.

“We were looking for a second location (for Ponderosa) and then we began this development and it just made sense,” Rennaker said.

Palindrome, which also owns PINTS Brewing Company in Portland, opened Ponderosa in 2014.

The taproom is just one element of the makeover of the historic El Vado Motel and the adjoining Casa Grande properties. The properties also will have “a number of small restaurant pods,” said Rennaker, along with housing, a spa and an amphitheater. The renovation is intended to make El Vado a a “boutique motel.”

The site had been closed and fenced off for years, but in January, Palindrome Development, along with Albuquerque’s Family Housing Development Corp. and other public sector sources, began construction and restoration projects on the site, including relighting the historic El Vado Motel sign on Central.

By:  Taylor Hood, Reporter - Albuquerque Journal

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