Margarita Hill, a large food hall that was originally set to open this summer in Rio Rancho, has been put on hold indefinitely.

Roy Solomon, the developer behind Tin Can Alley and Green Jeans Farmery, was planning to bring the food hall concept to Rio Rancho with the opening of Margarita Hill in mid-2023. Located near Unser and Westside close to Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, the roughly 14,000-square-foot Margarita Hill would have housed 10 tenants offering a variety of different foods.

Sadly for Solomon, the project became too expensive and risky to complete.

“It was such an amazing concept for Rio Rancho; I think it was going to be very well received,” Solomon said. “We were all really excited. I had all 10 tenants and the building was amazing design wise. But when it came to financing, materials, interest rates, just everything in general just seemed above my level of risk that I could handle.”

All 10 tenants at Margarita Hill were local businesses, and Solomon said the cost of the project would’ve caused those businesses to overcharge for their products.

“You can’t charge $50 for a taco or $20 for a beer,” Solomon said. “There’s just so much that they can charge and it cost so much to build that I was worried that financially, we’d have problems.”

For Solomon, a Rio Rancho citizen, the dream of Margarita Hill in the City of Vision is still alive. 

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s not dead. As far as my tenants are concerned, it’s not dead,” Solomon said. “My tenants are kind of like a family. They’re great people and they’re ready to go. They were ready to take the risk with me but I just didn’t want to put all of us in that spot. As far as I’m concerned, it’s still very viable.”

The location has a different use now so a new spot will need to be found. Solomon said if someone could bring a piece of land into the deal, it would help lower costs and make Margarita Hill a reality.

Mayor Gregg Hull stressed that the City of Rio Rancho did everything necessary to get the Margarita Hill project approved and completed. 

“We’re disappointed that the project is not coming forward (at that location),” Hull said. “We were excited to see something like this in Rio Rancho and we will continue to work with Mr. Solomon on other projects.”