Sawmill District

Sawmill Reborn

Sawmill District

Sunset on the Sawmill District.

Meet one of Albuquerque's most happening neighborhoods.

By Ashley M. Biggers
Photography by Sergio Salvador

New Mexico joined foodie havens across the country when the Sawmill Market, the state's first food hall, opened its doors in spring 2020. With restaurants, pop-up food stands, and artisanal shops, the market flows through 33,000 square feet in the previous home of Paxton Lumber. Sawmill Market gave the formerly scruffy warehouse a second life, and it's set to do the same for the historic lumber district that has idled as an industrial area for decades.

Set a couple blocks north of Albuquerque's Old Town — the neighborhood divisions are nearly indistinguishable — a revival has been years in the making. Shops and restaurants, such as Spur Line Supply Co., Ponderosa Brewing, and Prismatic Coffee, helped make the neighborhood more walkable. The 2018 arrival of the luxurious Hotel Chaco, with its Pueblo-inspired design and New Mexico wine and spirits tasting room Crafted, added to the quarter's cachet.

Ponderosa Brewing.

Ponderosa Brewing.

Sawmill Market has cemented the neighborhood as a destination — and a delicious one at that. "We truly think [the market] is going to raise the bar of the food scene in Albuquerque," says Lauren Greene, one of the project's concept developers along with husband and business partner Jason Greene. The Greenes became leaders in the Duke City's culinary scene with The Grove Café & Market in East Downtown and brought their curatorial prowess to the lineup of Sawmill Market restaurants.

Jason and Lauren Greene of Sawmill Market.

Jason and Lauren Greene of Sawmill Market.

The market features several new eateries and bars, including Paxton's, a taproom whose name pays homage to the original tenants of the Sawmill Market building. The hall also includes New Mexico staples like Dr. Field Goods and relative newcomers like Naruto Ramen. Food trucks, such as Albuquerque's HAWT Pizza Co, have put down roots, and small-batch makers like Tulipani Pasta boast artisanal kiosks. As a hotspot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and several snacks in between — the only lumbering happening here now is by the stuffed diners between diverse options.
Tess Coats, owner of Spur Line Supply Co.

Tess Coats, owner of Spur Line Supply Co.