Three Rivers Brewery Revival

4/23/2021

The gem of historical downtown Farmington, Three Rivers Brewery, finally opens their doors to loyal patrons. By Donna Hewett. Sponsored by CMIT Services and Express Employment Professionals.

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Closed for an entire year, the iconic Three Rivers Brewery lock, the anchor of downtown Main Street in Farmington, has finally reopened its restaurant, distillery and lounge. It's a huge relief, not only for co-owner and head brewer Patrick Liessman, but his staff and their many devoted brew pub patrons. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by CMIT Services and Express Employment Professionals. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. Smaller restaurants that stayed open as the pandemic peaked found it incredibly tough to stretch to keep staff safe, dinners warm, and inspectors at bay. Liessman explains the kind of struggle and choices Three Rivers faced.

This block, the four buildings, have a lot of overhead. And just, we tried running the pizzeria. It was kind of a bad timing too, with the downtown streets project. It just, nobody could get any traffic. So we tried keeping the pizzeria going, and then we were going to build off that, but we couldn't make it work. There just wasn't enough traffic. And then the overhead was just eating us up. So we just decided to kind of cut our losses and try to hold on to what we could for as long as we could until the roads were done, and until we can get back open meaningfully.

Ironically, Farmington slipped back into the yellow zone, just as Three Rivers opened its doors. But Liessman says the impact has been minimal.

I mean, we already had pretty good COVID-safe practices in place in how we're operating, and we have fairly large buildings, so 33% of our capacity is still a pretty good amount of people that we can get in, as long as we have safe practices. So it was nerve wracking, but it wasn't the worst thing that could happen. Sliding back to red would've been, that would have hurt.

The new menu is limited, but all the fan favorites are back, including their juicy burgers and massive chicken fried steak. Also making a return are Three Rivers award-winning micro-brews. Liessman keeps about 12 varieties on tap, continually rotating them and trying new components. With 30 barrels aging, the distillery's whiskey program will be up and running by early next year. Wait times at Three Rivers eatery might be longer, but fans are so glad to be back, it doesn't seem to matter. Liessman is appreciative.

We can't express our gratitude enough for the outpouring of support that we've felt in these last few weeks, and even over the course of the pandemic. The constant phone calls, and just everybody just wondering when we're going to reopen and just hoping they see us back, and it's been what has kept us going to try to get this place open again.

Three Rivers Brewery is located at 101 East Main Street. It's open from four to 9:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM on weekends. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network covering San Juan County in New Mexico and Southwest Colorado. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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