The historic Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair has once again changed hands, reopened a café, and added a gallery space.

The hotel was purchased by Ed von Kutzleben this year; he said he plans to restore the historical building.

The Cafe at the Shaffer reopened about a week ago and the restoration of the hotel is still in progress. It is open Thursday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Von Kutzleben said it took about three months to get the restaurant operational. “I like to bring back old buildings,” he said. “Fifteen years ago I bought and restored a stone school house which I live in.” After complaining about how someone should buy the Shaffer Hotel and fix it back up, an opportunity was presented for von Kutzleben to buy it and he decided to go for it.

“Mountainair needs to be a destination. Its a historical point of interest if you google New Mexico, and Mountainair is a great place,” von Kutzleben said. He said when he first arrived the Shaffer Hotel was closed more often than it was open and to have it closed was a detriment to Mountainair.

In addition to the hotel and cafe space there is also a space that used to be an antique store, now opened as La Galería.

Mountainair artists Rebecca Anthony and Linda Marie Carroll decided to buy the space and turn into a gallery to showcase local artists. They have their own work in the gallery and six other visual artists and one musician have their work featured there as well.

The gallery opened officially on June 29. It is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and features art in various media, including watercolor, oil, paper collage, ceramic, stone and wood work, bronzes, basketry and sculptures. 

There will be two annual art openings, one in October and one in April. They are also planning to feature guest artist a few times a year. All the art that is show cased will be local. Anthony said in regards to art submission of the future, they plan to start close to home, as there are lots of artists in Mountainair, but eventually they will be interested branching out into the East Mountains to invite other local artists. Anthony said they will not be accepting any art that is not local.