Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stage Door Grill Closes Its Doors

By John Larson

SOCORRO - After being in business for almost three successful years, the Stage Door Grill on Abeyta Street has closed its doors.
Known as one of Socorro’s favorite venues for local music and boasting a diverse menu since opening in November 2007, the Stage Door’s last day of business was Wednesday, Aug. 25.
A notice on the front door said it would be closed Friday for cleaning.
Terry and Denise Eilers had previously operated the Golden Spur Saloon in Magdalena.
Terry Eilers expanded his vision of offering live music when the Stage Door opened.
“The closing of the Stage Door is a huge loss to the community,” said Ronna Kalish, member of the band, Roon. “The wonderful thing was the Thursday night jams, and Terry was the one who made it so magical.”
She said Eilers’ enthusiasm for music will be missed. “He would encourage people to come up and sing or play,” she said.
“Mariam (Funke) and Doug Figgs kept things going and made things possible,” she said.
Kalish is also director of Tech’s Performing Arts Series and is scheduling bands for SocorroFest.
“We were counting on [the Stage Door] as another stage for music,” she said. “It worked so well last year.
“It’s a black hole for the moment. A sad day for musicians and the Socorro music community.”
“We are all racking our brains to come up with an idea/venue to keep the jams going,” Kalish said. “I hope Mic and Molly will consider putting music over [at Socorro Springs].”
The closing of the restaurant drew many of its
patrons to express their feelings.
Deputy County Clerk Audrey Jaramillo-Hawkes told the Mountain Mail going to the Stage Door was “like going to Cheers, where everybody knew your name.
“It was very personal,” Jaramillo-Hawkes said. “A great local hangout where you could eat, drink, and hear music. Terry was the reason we didn’t leave town on Friday for entertainment. I have to say they did a wonderful job and were an asset to this community.”
County Treasurer Genevie Baca said it was a loss to many in the community.
“Sonny and I are certainly going to miss it and the times we sat and solved all the world’s problems right in that fabulous restaurant,” Baca said. “I can’t remember if there was restaurant that stirred so much excitement with the community. Their involvement in the community generated so much activity and we felt part of their family.”
Terry Eilers summed up his feelings.
“One of the most important things to me was something one of our customers said to me,” he said. “They said ‘it feels like we’re walking into somebody’s living room when we come in’.”
The westernmost end of the historic Juan Jose Baca House (pre-dating 1880) north of the plaza has seen at least three restaurants in the last decade, including the short-lived Plaza Café and most notably, Socorro Springs Brewing Company, which moved to a new location on California Street in March, 2005.
“We will be back to visit often and make sure you watch for the new signs to go up on the Baca building,” Eilers said. “You just never know what might show up in this great old historic dwelling.”
The Eilers’ have opened a new restaurant, The Wayside Grill, in Mt. Shasta, Calif.

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