Here’s a view of the new portal in front of La Placita Restaurant on the Plaza in Old Town. The roof had been leaking badly, so they had thought simply to put a new layer of roofing tar on. However, when the contractor looked it it to make a bid, he found that there was a lot of rot in the support posts, canales and vigas. It turned into a much bigger job than expected, as is frequently the case with really old buildings.
And that’s pronounced “por-TAHL” which is the New Mexico version of a porch overhang.
Our vendors under the portal just have to be New Mexico residents. The ones in Santa Fe actually have to be Native Americans.
Most of La Placita Restaurant is one story, except for this second story with the peaked roof in part of it. When the owner’s daughter was going to get married in 1872, she wanted to come down a staircase in her wedding gown, so her father built a second story on this part of the house and imported a staircase from Spain. Oh, the lengths people will go to make sure their daughter has a “perfect wedding,” no matter what it takes.
The house dates back to the early 1700’s and was part of the Spanish land grant to the Armijo family. A descendant, Manuel Armijo, served as governor of New Mexico three times. Now there’s a character. Whether he’s a hero, a villain or a con man depends on whose version of history you read.
The La Placita Restaurant goes back many years. It seems like just about anyone who grew up in Albuquerque, especially in the 1940’s to 1970’s, worked at the restaurant.