Posted 11 May 16 By: No comments yet

Food truck has plans for Nob Hill’s former Shade Tree space

Nob Hill's forthcoming restaurant Pete's Frites may have hamburgers on its menu, but it's not just any old burger joint.

In fact, the new restaurant, which will open mid-summer, said it wants to be known for a menu item often given second thought—the french fry.

Maria and Peter Gabriele started Pete's Frites as a food truck in Santa Fe. The food truck was successful and known for its Belgian-style fries, or frites, and various dipping sauces. Belgian frites are thick, and a bit labor intensive because they are fried twice. Peter Gabriele, the creative chef behind the business, adds one more step and boils the potatoes first.

"We take our fries very seriously," Peter Gabriele said.

"He loves to do the research on food," Maria Gabriele said of her husband. "He's like the mad scientist of fast casual food."

After finding success in the food truck business, the Santa Fe couple decided to open their first brick and mortar restaurant. They searched for real estate in Santa Fe, but ultimately chose a piece of prime real estate in Nob Hill.

Pete's Frites will open at 3407 Central Ave. NE, in the former Shade Tree Customs & Cafe space that closed in November after two years in business.

Nicole Rhodes with NAI Maestas & Ward represented the Gabrieles in their lease, and Damon Maddox with Maddox & Co. Realtors represented the property owner.

"We looked at the demographics of Nob Hill and thought the concept of frites would work really well here," Peter said.

He said the restaurant would pull customers among university students, local families and tourists who want to grab a cone of frites and take it to go while strolling in Nob Hill.

Because this will be a sit-down restaurant, the owners are adding burgers to the menu, along with fish and chips and an existing popular dish at Pete's Frites, salt cod fritters. Peter Gabriele said all the food is made in-house with quality ingredients, including New Mexico certified beef that's ground in-house.

"We want to really elevate the burger and fries experience," he said.

The restaurant's signature burger, with a 7-ounce patty, will cost less than $10.Maria Gabriele said she wants the restaurant to be known as family friendly, and the focus will be on the food rather than other Nob Hill eateries that sell a lot of alcohol.

The couple is making improvements to the storefront, which is about 1,800 square feet and will fit about 50 people. The Gabrieles hope to open the new restaurant sometime in July.

By:  Stephanie Guzman, Reporter-Albuquerque Business First

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