Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Wise Pies and the taproom would be integrated together in the SUB. This is incorrect — there will be two separate facilities adjacent to each other. It also stated Wise Pies was acquired by Chartwell's, which is also incorrect. The Daily Lobo apologizes heavily for this error.
The University of New Mexico taproom was first proposed in 2016 by alumni Gus Pedrotty and Sara Collins. Last month, construction began on the taproom’s facility, and planning for the operations are underway.
Collins said it was amazing to see the student-led project come to life.
“I'm excited to see the final product and all of the ways in which UNM makes the taproom a center for student learning,” she said.
Chanel Wiese, a business analyst for the UNM Dining and Food Services, has since taken the project under her auspices.
“This project is like my baby, I’ve put a lot of work into it and I’m glad to see it nearly opened,” she said.
The taproom will be bringing a new venue to the Student Union Building, and plans on integrating with Wise Pies, which it will share space with.
“Because of the size constraints, it was very convenient to work with Chartwells on this project as well,” Wiese said.
Part of their consideration for the project was the size-constraints faced by the two facilities.
“Nothing is being replaced, but nothing is staying the same,” Wiese said. “Because we want to integrate the two venues, we are considering some menu changes for these venues to better compliment each other.”
The taproom’s overall business model is serving local beers and wines. It will share kitchen and dishwashing facilities with Wise Pies, and will be able to offer its own small menu, she said. However, the UNM Dining and Food Services is interested in better integrating it with the campus.
“We would like to see this become another place for public discussion in the SUB,” Wiese said. “Hosting guest lecturers, comedians, student groups, music — we don’t want this to be a typical bar, and there’s a lot of opportunity there.”
She said they are also looking to what relationship they could form with the geography department because they teach classes in international beer culture.
The taproom has already made considerable inroads into the academic community here at UNM.
“An architecture class presented designs (for the taproom) as their final project, and one was selected for the design of the current taproom,” Wiese said.
Another aim of the taproom is to help change the way students drink. “When I think of college parties I typically picture red solo cups and no supervision.” Wiese said, “We believe that taproom will help students drink more responsibly.”
She said the bar setting is less risky and the University will have more opportunity to watch students incase something were to happen. Adding that they want to create respect for both the venue and the product.
The taproom is set to open in mid-September, it will be open to the entire public with age restriction on entry. Operational details, such as hours and specific menu, are currently under development.
Donald Amble is a freelance news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Deambler.