Nob Hill’s favorite Italian spot, Scalo, has had an interesting past couple of years. Shutting down pre-pandemic with no word of opening back up, transitioning to new management under Chuck Parlapiano and finally dealing with the past few lockdowns, Scalo is looking to bounce back with a purpose.
I sat down with Scalo’s head bartender, Steve Lucero, to discuss their new happy hour menu and the road ahead.
“One of the biggest projects we are working on is a $5 menu, which includes all the favorite local drafts, you-call-it good cocktails and, finally, a $6 upscale drink menu with some tasty daiquiris,” Lucero details. “There is a misconception that Scalo’s is mainly fine dining; of course, we provide that atmosphere, but we’re laid back. It’s not going to be pretentious like some other places; we want to make it comfortable for people around this area.”
For years Scalo was known as one of the upscale establishments in Nob Hill. Now, as the new crew takes over, it’s refreshing to hear a fresh, hip approach to the famous Italian eatery. And take my word for it, their new daiquiris are going to be your choice of drink for this summer.
With a gorgeous patio in a vibrant community, Scalo seems like it is on the right track heading into the summer. A spot you go right after work, Scalo’s new happy hour will definitely attract the crowd. Not only are drinks on happy hour, but Scalo will also be featuring deals on food.
Of course, I had to ask about the Bloody Mary bar. Upon asking, I realized COVID-19 protocols call for no self-serving stations. But Scalo has always been known for that great option on Sunday brunches! Don’t worry. Lucero informed me they will still give patrons the options to deck out their Bloody Marys. The process of how, exactly, is still in the works—but there will be bacon straws.
As Lucero and Head Chef Daniel John pivot during the pandemic, they seek to provide quality service and get the Albuquerque community invested in their product.
“Scalo actually opened back up in the middle of the pandemic, and we just went with it. I’m so thankful we have all these amazing supporters in Nob Hill and Albuquerque,” Lucero explains. “With new ownership and an amazing staff, we are really excited for this summer. We are going in a new direction, but in the end we are just happy to be open. Whatever we can do to increase a guest’s experience, we are going to do that.”
Scalo just received a new regular, and there’s plenty of space at the bar for more. With an affordable menu and a upscale atmosphere, this is Albuquerque’s new summer hot spot.
Scalo Italian Restaurant
3500 Central Ave. SE
Neighborhood: Nob Hill
Category: Fine Dining
Phone: (505) 522-3800