Enchanted Dining

Pork belly
Pork belly ©DouglasMerriam

Even before the patio season expanded capacity, Fire & Hops’ first-year sales were tracking 25 percent ahead of projection.

Fire & Hops
Owner: Chef Joel Coleman and Josh Johns
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Description: Upscale, fine-dining fare in a comfy and casual gastropub setting.
Opened: July 2014

Sensing a void in the Santa Fe market, partners Joel Coleman and Josh Johns launched the aptly named Fire & Hops, a gastropub that serves fine-dining fare and interesting brews at prices reasonable enough to draw patrons back time and again.

“Santa Fe is very seasonal, so to make it here you have to get the locals in, and we have a really solid local following,” says Coleman, who is chef and co-owner. “We have people coming in two, three, sometimes even four times a week.”

Adhering to four guiding principles—local, sustainable, quality, and friendly—Fire & Hops has exceeded first-year projections by more than 25 percent.

“On slow nights we projected we would do $1,600, but we routinely are doing $2,000, and that is on a Monday, for example,” Coleman says. Speaking with FSR in early spring, he reports the restaurant’s biggest daily haul was $5,300, and that was sans patio. “We turned the restaurant almost four times that night, and we are hoping to top that once the patio is open,” Coleman explains.

Fire & Hops seats 50 inside and during the warmer months opens up the patio that accommodates another 24 guests. Santa Fe’s peak season is June to September, and Coleman estimates up to 200 people can be served on a busy night during that period.

Coleman and Johns both enjoyed local followings from their previous restaurant jobs before joining forces on this, their first restaurant venture.

“Josh had a following and I had people who followed me,” says Coleman. “So now we have this cool eclectic mix of people on any given night. Our guests really like supporting what we are trying to do here.”

A big part of that effort revolves around working with local farmers, composting, and recycling. “For me it is not something I have to think about too much,” says Coleman. “I do these things, not because they are popular and trendy, but because I have always thought that way.”

Self-taught in the kitchen from the age of 16, Coleman worked in a variety of restaurants around the country before returning to his New Mexico roots.


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