Casa Vieja (Closed)

 Sad to see Casa Vieja go.

August 22, 2011

Casa Vieja was one of those places that you either loved or hated. It’s Urbanspoon listing shows that 161 people have voted for it and 41 percent didn’t like it. The reviews are about evenly split between positive raves and negative pans, and most of the reviews are well thought out and informative.

Here are some of the review titles:

  • Great new restaurant for the Village of Corrales
  • Great local restaurant
  • Wonderful food & great service
  • Best in New Mexico
  •  A disastrous change of ownership wrecks formerly fine restaurant
  • Bad Food, Bad Service
  • Ambitions Amok. The Result is Woeful….
  • My Worst Meal Ever in New Mexico

I know most of the reviewers, and have no reason to doubt their sincerity or veracity. So, what was going on with this place? And why did it rate so highly in the print-magazine and online polls? The newspaper and magazine reviews were mostly glowing. I have my ideas and would gladly discuss them with you over a pint or two of Marble IPA. We can meet at the Corrales Bistro Brewery just up the street from the now-empty Old House.

I really wanted Casa Vieja to succeed. It is but a short walk from my house. Corrales needs a fine dining place and destination restaurant such as this could have been.

I wish Katy and Josh (fellow Corraleños) all the best in overcoming this misfortune. I hope that they will rise again in Corrales, stronger than ever. I will be among the first in the doors when that happens.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Excerpts  from the Corrales Comment article are reprinted below. The article goes into some detail about the structural problems encountered in the 300-year old building.

“Will Casa Vieja reopen? Will closure of the building for concerns over public safety, ordered by the Village of Corrales’ building inspector August 5, lead to its demolition?

“Answers to those questions will apparently come mostly from the owner of the building, Albuquerque attorney Floyd Wilson, and he’s not talking.

“At least, the attorney has not responded to numerous calls made to his law office and to his home regarding the future of the venerable Corrales building, some parts of which are said to be more than 300 years old.

“When the owners of the restaurant business (as distinct from the owner of the property), Josh and Kate Gerwin,  took down the Casa Vieja signs at the entrance along Corrales Road over the August 6-7 weekend, rumors flew all over the village.

“Generally, those rumors made the situation seem more of a calamity than may be the case.

“A load-bearing adobe wall at the northwest end of the building had collapsed, some said, and part of the roof had fallen in. Both of those scary prospects are probably over-stated. But problems there are, without a doubt.

“The most serious of those involve the  walls along the north side of the old building, where water and waste water issues from dish-washing and drainage to the septic system are concentrated.

“The Casa Vieja dish room was, to put it mildly, a pretty wet place, as in most restaurants. The Gerwins could tell the wall there was having problems, so they called in Bonifacio Gurule, the adobe expert who last year had shored up the blue viga portal that fronts Corrales Road.”

Read the full Corrales Comment article (Can Sewer Line Completion Save Water-Weakened Casa Vieja? ) Written by Jeff Radford.

From The Weekly Alibi:

Goodbye, old house

“Casa Vieja’s 300-year-old walls succumbed to old age earlier this month. Owners Josh and Kate Gerwin closed their doors until further notice after a building inspector deemed the collapsing adobe a hazard.

“”The charming 18th-century structure is one of the oldest in Corrales and has housed stage coaches, military headquarters, tightrope walkers and a general store. For the last 30 years it has been a restaurant.

“Since buying the restaurant in 2009, the Gerwins’ food and drink have been well-loved by Alibi readers. In last year’s annual Alibi poll, Casa Vieja was voted Best Restaurant in Albuquerque. Josh was runner-up for Best Chef and Kate won Best Wine Steward by a landslide vote.

“The restaurant’s emphasis on locally sourced ingredients made it a favorite with foodies, and the eclectic cocktail and wine lists made even the pickiest drinker happy. The menu reflects the slow food movement by embracing organic and sustainable fare that’s never seen the inside of a can.

“The Gerwins have not revealed their next step after the condemnation of their building, but here’s hoping they bring their culinary creations further into the city.”

Closed: Casa Vieja

(505) 508-3244

4541 Corrales Rd
Corrales, NM 87048…
View the menu

Casa Vieja on Urbanspoon

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2 Responses to Casa Vieja (Closed)

  1. Los Ranchos Curmudgeon says:

    In a Journal article 8/11/11, the owner of Casa Vieja is “…according to a letter Aug. 5 from the village to building owner Floyd Olson.”, i.e. not the Gerwins.

    I have a dear space in my heart for old things….including the many gals I’ve loved before….like “Casa Vieja” and hope it is restored per its existance from the early 1700s…think of the Yodagees who tore down The Alvarado Hotel Perhaps I am stuck in reminiscences from at least the ’70s when Corrales was the Golden Go-To place for dining…in contrast to eating. (I deferred a not so favorable note on Gil’s blogj re the “new” place as I’d only been once to its recent offerings.) It is really a shame that the (admittedly rumored) mentality of Corrales’ townfolks has negatively impacted the promotion of business there and we’ve (selfishly?) lost Corrales being a dining treasure of old in spite of the faux ventures lining Coors several blocks south, with all due respect and kudos to the restauranteurs who try to make it a go. Indeed while the signage being taken down and the patio furniture being gone may only be a temporary storage thing of practicality, the desolateness left behind is somewhat foreboding!!!!

  2. Richard Crollett says:

    I have a gift card to Casa Viejo Restaurant but was unable to ues it before they closed. I am I stuck with a now worthless gift card?

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