Created: 01/15/2014 6:35 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The new year has brought big changes for some popular businesses in Albuquerque – not all of them good changes.
It’s a double dose of sad news for one longtime favorite restaurant. Both Charlie’s Front Door and Charlie’s Back Door are closing after more than 40 years in business at Hoffmantown Shopping Center. Both Charlie’s are iconic watering-holes, famous for generous drinks and sizzling New Mexico chow. But owner Charlie Elias is retiring at age 81 and it’s time to hang it up.
“I remember seeing Charlie’s since I was ten, ten or eleven,” said Kenny Turivio outside the restaurant before noon on Wednesday. “I remember passing by here all the time and sometimes me and my Mom would come here and eat.”
“It goes way back,” said Mary Hernandez, who owns the nearby Hoffmantown Barber Shop. “It’s been here forever. My favorite? It’s got to be the enchilada plate – with green.”
“I’ve lived here since 1970, so I’ve been coming here since close to that time,” said Lea Ann Hinde. “It’s been a part of our life. Carnitas – red – is my very favorite. I can’t get enough of that!”
Charlie’s last day in business will be this Sunday.
Meanwhile the Albertson’s supermarket at Four Hills Shopping Center will close next month, taking with it a Wells Fargo branch bank and a Sav-on Pharmacy. The big movie theater at that shopping center closed recently, too.
And while managers say the big Baillio’s store on Menaul near San Mateo is doing extremely well, the company has decided to close its Santa Fe store at the end of this month.