Little Bear Coffee to open new location in downtown Albuquerque
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Little Bear Coffee is getting ready to bring its momentum to another part of Albuquerque that needs it.
“We talked a lot about how, if we want to commit to like building our city, what are some ways that we can do that in a really meaningful way,” said Jacob Fox, co-owner of Little Bear Coffee.
Fox and his family opened the Uptown Little Bear location in 2017, and then their Nob Hill location two years later. Now, they are preparing to open their downtown location.
“We’re just so excited to have a presence here, and to hopefully be kind of a positive catalyst for some growth here in our city center,” Fox said.
Little Bear is expanding to the lobby of the Clyde Hotel, steps from Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza.
“I think we’re really hoping that our storefront facing Civic Plaza can be a cool excuse for people to like, come get a drink, go walk around, check it out for maybe the first time ever, and hopefully, it becomes a part of a lot of people’s daily life and routine,” Fox said.
Fox acknowledges the potential risk of crime and vandalism that comes along with a downtown storefront, but hopes positive activity will deter the negative.
“That same sentiment existed a handful of years ago when we were talking about going into Nob Hill,” Fox said. “I think the honest answer is that, if you’re committed to wanting a place to be the best version of itself, you kind of just have to commit to it.”
That’s the attitude Terry Brunner with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency says will help downtown reach its full potential.
“There’s a lot of work to be done across the board to get people really interested in downtown,” Brunner told KOB 4.
Brunner says the city is already on the right track for 2024. Hotel Blue is scheduled to reopen as Arrive Albuquerque, and Ex Novo Brewing is set to open a new concept next door.
There are also new housing units to compliment the west end of Central. Over on the east side, the city is weeks away from construction on the Central Crossing Project near 2nd Street as part of the Rail Trail.
Brunner says beyond the infrastructure is the need to change attitudes.
“Downtown is not just about having people come in cause trouble, or have too many drinks and leave, we want them to be folks that come in and want to live downtown and experience downtown in a positive way,” Brunner said.
Fox and his family are hoping to lead that charge.
“We really, genuinely view it as a collective effort in making our city a little bit better,” Fox said.
The downtown Little Bear Coffee location has a grand opening set for Jan. 25.