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Located in the 1920's era Nuckolls Packing Co. building in the historic Santa Fe Railyard


In February 1880, the first train pulled into Santa Fe, signaling the end of the Santa Fe Trail era and the arrival of tourists, newcomers, and economic opportunity. Among the businesses setting up shop in the bustling new Railyard was Nuckolls Packing Co. of Pueblo, Colorado.

​Built as a meat-packing outpost for Nuckolls, the original structure was insulated with thick concrete walls covered with four inches of cork, creating a highly efficient refrigeration facility for the storage of Nuckolls’ meat products. Rail tracks led to what is now the downstairs bar, for loading and unloading. During the Great Depression, local Santa Feans came to Nuckolls for free meat.

​Between its original use as a meat packing facility and its current life as a brew pub, the building housed several local enterprises. For more than 20 years the Nuckolls building served as the home of John Muir Publications. A Santa Fe institution for more than 30 years, John Muir Publications grew to become the largest book publishing company in New Mexico, responsible for the release of cult classics such as “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step by Step Procedures for the Complete Idiot.” At the beginning of this century the Nuckolls building also served as a studio for local FM Radio station, INDIE 101.5.


Most recently Nuckolls served as the corporate headquarters for Santa Fe Southern Railway, a historic railroad tracing its roots to the first trains that arrived in Santa Fe in 1880.  As the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad was heading westward through New Mexico in the late 1870’s, the railroad chose to bypass Santa Fe entirely, instead stopping in Lamy, a small village on the Galisteo River basin 18 miles from Santa Fe. The residents of Santa Fe were in shock and dismay, and they rallied to raise a public bond of $150,000 to pay ATS&F to build an 18-mile spur line from Lamy into the Santa Fe Railyard.  Thus, in February 1880, rail travel finally arrived Santa Fe on this 18-mile line.


Over time, Santa Fe Southern Railway, a long-time tenant of the Nuckolls building, became the owner of this historic 18-mile line, the same line that from 1880 has carried into Santa Fe artists, tourists, wealthy eastern eccentrics, archaeologists, dreamers, and others seeking its unique mixture of cultures, mountains, fresh air, and exquisite light. Many scientists who joined the Manhattan Project traveled incognito on this line, arriving at the Lamy Depot and then being whisked up by car to the secret city of Los Alamos.  Presidents rode the line, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.  Without this Santa Fe Southern Railway connection, Santa Fe would be a less interesting place. The railroad helped create the City Different.  And the railroad is deeply connected to the Nuckolls facility.

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