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550 Brewing's outdoor alcohol sales bringing in extra customers, downtown appeal to Aztec

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com
550 Brewing co-owners Micah Fiske, left, and Ericah Boyd, right, seen here on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, sit in the restaurant's sidewalk patio area in front of Main Avenue in downtown Aztec.

AZTEC – Already hampered by the state’s indoor dining ban, 550 Brewing Company sought a quick, simple fix to bolster revenue: outdoor alcohol sales.

It got the OK on Aug. 13 to set up socially-distanced tables, surrounded by a $300 fence, and start serving beer within its new sidewalk patio area in front of the building.

The establishment, located at 119 N. Main Ave. in downtown Aztec, has seen instant results.

“I think (customers are) excited to just be outside again, and it’s nice to be able to offer that,” co-owner Micah Fiske said. “Hopefully, it’s an opportunity for other businesses to do (service) on the front. When people drive on Main Street, they think, ‘What is here? What’s that?’ Let’s stop, let’s shop.’ ”

550 Brewing Company got the OK serve alcohol in its sidewalk patio area, seen here on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, located in front of Main Avenue in downtown Aztec.

Co-owner Ericah Boyd, Fiske’s sister, said 550 Brewing has seen an increase in beer sales and overall customer sales because the shutdown previously kept customers from being able to sit down for drinks.

“It’s brought in a larger customer base and also new customers, which is really good for our community… We can go from shop to shop and make it a little bit more active, fun downtown area for everybody,” Boyd said. “We just have to keep going and keep pushing through all of this in order to stay afloat.”

Prior to the changes, customers could only wait in their vehicles for their food orders. Now they can sit down drink a beer and watch activity along Main Street while waiting for their food.

“We’re just excited to offer somewhere to sit, chill, relax,” Fiske said.

550 Brewing Company got the OK serve alcohol in its sidewalk patio area, located in front of Main Avenue in downtown Aztec.

The goal is to appeal to more people across San Juan County and anyone driving through downtown, all while adhering to state guidelines.

“It’s just an added bonus,” Fiske said. “We already have the best wood-fire pizza place in the area. We’re already drawing people in from that, and now I think we’re going to bring in a bigger crowd.”

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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