Shop ‘n’ nosh

Pasatiempo - - AMUSE-BOUCHE - by Pa­tri­cia West-Barker

In 2007, The Na­tional Pro­vi­sioner re­ported that “re­tail­ers are go­ing be­yond pre-pack­aged sta­ples” to “ap­peal to week­end food­ies and hur­ried shop­pers pick­ing up din­ner on the way home from work. … Why are gro­cery stores act­ing like, well, restau­rants?” the au­thor asked. “Quite sim­ply, they are try­ing to re­cap­ture busi­ness that was lost to restau­rants over the past 10 years.”

It’s a move­ment that’s ac­cel­er­ated to the point where An­drew Sessa, writ­ing in the Novem­ber is­sue of Food & Wine, noted that “for­ward-think­ing su­per­mar­kets are turn­ing them­selves into full-on din­ing and drinking es­tab­lish­ments” — a trend ob­serv­able not only in food­for­ward cities like Seat­tle, Los An­ge­les, and Man­hat­tan, but also here in Santa Fe, where Whole Foods opened the

Piñon Pub — a restau­rant-bar within the mar­ket — in the Cer­ril­los Road store in 2015. A re­design com­pleted just this past month fur­ther ex­panded the space al­lot­ted to pre­pared foods.

But this is the City Dif­fer­ent, and a quick sur­vey finds that some lo­cal en­trepreneurs are turn­ing the gro­ceryas-restau­rant trend back on it­self by cre­at­ing eater­ies that also in­clude strong, per­son­ally cu­rated re­tail shops. Greg Menke opened The Bee­stro (101 W. Marcy St.), spe­cial­iz­ing in break­fast and lunch to go, in 2012, ex­pand­ing into re­tail late last year with The Hive Mar­ket (101 W. Marcy St. #5), which of­fers pre­pared foods, crafts, and gift baskets. The

Root Cel­lar, a gas­tropub serv­ing beer, wine, and mead that opened this win­ter un­der the mar­ket, adds a more tra­di­tional sit-down restau­rant to the mix. All three Marcy Street busi­nesses re­flect Menke’s pas­sion for lo­cal, sus­tain­able food, bees, honey, and honey-based prod­ucts.

Josh Ger­win, chef-owner of Dr. Field Goods Kitchen, ex­panded the restau­rant’s foot­print with Dr. Field Goods

Butcher Shop and Bak­ery (2860-B-5 Cer­ril­los Road). The re­tail space makes the lo­cally and re­gion­ally sourced meats served in the restau­rant — as well as the shop’s se­lec­tion of deli sand­wiches and a few lo­cal craft beers — avail­able to home cooks. Bone broth, fresh lard, and tal­low can­dles also re­flect Ger­win’s com­mit­ment to us­ing every bit of the an­i­mal.

At Mod­ern Gen­eral (637 Cer­ril­los Road), the re­tail arm of Erin Wade’s Vinai­grette, “tools for a bet­ter life” on sale in­clude ev­ery­thing from a copy of Carl Jung’s Red Book to whisk brooms and freshly hand-milled wheat. Shov­els, picks, and other gar­den im­ple­ments demon­strate the owner’s in­ter­est in or­ganic farm­ing, and the fresh, lo­cally grown pro­duce that un­der­pins the restau­rant’s salad-based, light and healthy menu.

Bodega Prime (1291-A San Felipe Ave.), which chefowner Noela Figueroa opened this past sum­mer, was a restau­rant-re­tail hy­brid from the start. It’s a suc­cess­ful sit­down break­fast and lunch spot, a grab ‘n’ go deli, a bak­ery, and a place to buy house-made condi­ments — such as chut­neys, ketchups, dress­ing, con­ser­vas, and rel­ishes — to make home-cooked meals more in­ter­est­ing and fla­vor­ful. The shop also of­fers a se­lec­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly home goods made of wood, cot­ton, stain­less steel, glass — even wal­nut shells.

Do four restau­rant-re­tail shops sig­nal a new trend — or just a Santa Fe pref­er­ence for food that’s as per­sonal as it is sus­tain­able? It may take another decade to find out.

The Bee­stro’s chef Greg Menkes

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