Aztec's 550 Brewing plans to relocate to Main Avenue, expand
City Commission approves conditional use permit for brewery
FARMINGTON — An Aztec brewpub is looking at expanding its business and relocating to Main Avenue.
The Aztec City Commission has awarded a conditional use permit to the owners of 550 Brewing to brew beer at a building they are renting on Main Avenue.
The City Commission met Tuesday evening. The meeting can be viewed online on the city’s YouTube channel. Community Development director Steven Saavedra said selling alcohol is allowed in downtown, but brewing alcohol requires a conditional use permit.
Currently, the owners brew beer at a property in an unincorporated area of San Juan County. They serve the beer at their pub at the Aztec business incubator, or HUB. They say they likely will begin brewing beer at 119 N. Main Ave.
Sean Paschall, who is one of the owners, told the City Commission that 550 Brewing eventually will relocate to 119 N. Main Ave. from the HUB.
“Every day we are there is a day less that we have to be at the HUB,” he said, referring to a requirement that a business that uses the incubator is required to move into quarters of its own after three years. “We’re looking to the future of Aztec and of 550 Brewing. We are going to move the brewery, and we’re also bringing in a restaurant at the same time.”
The brewery began selling beer in 2015 out of the Hiway Grill, which has since closed. It opened a taproom at the HUB in 2017.
Paschall said the restaurant will be known as 550 Pizzeria. He said the restaurant and brewery will be in separate parts of the building.
“When we do open officially, it will have a food-serving section and a brewing section,” Paschall said.
While the city approved the conditional use permit, the commission will vote on it a second time in about 90 days if the state approves the plans.
In addition to approving the conditional use permit, the City Commission approved a new lease agreement with 550 Brewing for use of the HUB.
Saavedra said the HUB is currently closed for renovations that are required to bring the building up to code after the city agreed to purchase it in December from the Aztec Presbyterian Church. But 550 Brewing will remain open for part of the time that the renovations are occurring.
He said the new lease agreement does not start until the HUB is fully open.
“That could be three weeks from now,” Saavedra said. “That could be a month from now.”
The lease agreement is for one year, but can be renewed next year. 550 Brewing will pay the city $1,000 a month, but the owners will be able to have $150 discounted from their rent if they attend business training sessions at the HUB.
Saavedra said the $150 will be automatically deducted from the rent if there are no training sessions the previous month.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.