The Perfect Enemy | Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro to reopen after three years - Albuquerque Journal
April 9, 2024

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro to reopen after three years – Albuquerque Journal

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro to reopen after three years  Albuquerque Journal

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro co-owner Kevin Roessler sits in the renovated cellar bar. The cellar bar will reopen next week, with the main exhibition kitchen soon to follow. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

On March 16, 2020, Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro posted on their Instagram that the restaurant would temporarily be closed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closure lasted longer than anticipated, said co-owner Kevin Roessler, stretching from months into years. Roessler, who also owns Seasons Rotisserie & Grill in Old Town and Savoy Bar & Grill with his twin brother, Keith and their wives Catharina and Lynn Roessler, said they were able to take advantage of the outdoor seating at Seasons and Savoy to reopen more quickly. Zinc, a mainstay on Central, didn’t have outdoor seating and remained shuttered.

But after nearly three years, the wait is over. Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro is reopening this week – at least, partly. On March 9, the cellar bar at 3009 Central NE will reopen. For the first few weeks of opening, the cellar bar will be open Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Roessler said that ultimately he hopes to extend the days and hours.

“It’s like opening a brand new restaurant, even though we’ve been open 17 years,” Roessler said.

Glasses sit on the bar as Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro gears up for reopening after nearly three years closed. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

The three-story restaurant, which first opened in 2003, consists of a wine cellar, main exhibition kitchen, and mezzanine. The cellar bar will reopen this week. The main restaurant and mezzanine will reopen soon after; Roessler said it could be a few weeks or up to a few months later.

Chef Chris Pope, who designed the original Zinc menu and has supported both Seasons Grill and Savoy Bar and Grill over the years, will be returning to Zinc as a co-owner and to help guide the restaurant’s reopening.

Chef Chris Pope makes tempura-fried veggies in the renovated cellar bar kitchen at Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro in Nob Hill. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Diners who have been missing some of Zinc’s classics are in luck. The crispy duck eggrolls and almond-crusted baked brie will remain on the menu. But those mainstays will be joined by an extended menu, which includes larger entrees like vegan red curry stew and chimichurri steak frites.

Since the cellar is opening first, Roessler wanted to beef up the menu to include more “substantial” meals. Before the closing, the cellar menu was more focused on appetizers, where the main dining room served bigger entrees.

The duck confit egg rolls and tempura-fried veggies, cooked in the cellar bar kitchen at Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

The restaurant is also debuting a cocktail menu with more than a dozen cocktails, specialty drinks and martinis which join the bar’s wine menu. Michael Gallegos, the bar manager at Seasons Rotisserie & Grill developed the new bar program with Adam Ybarra and Bailie Schmidt.

The space has also undergone renovations during the closure. Customers will see a new floor, barstools, tabletops and a fresh coat of paint.

“A lot of times, when you’re open, you don’t have time to do that,” Roessler said. “…We had plenty of time here.”

The Roesslers also own Gorge Bar & Grill and Parcht in Taos.