The Hopper Pub & Pizzeria owner Destiny Schermerhorn is excited to resurrect what used to be Blue Grasshopper Brewery, where she met her husband. The Hopper opens this week. Matt Hollinshead photos.

Some of Destiny Schermerhorn’s best memories happened in what used to be Blue Grasshopper Brewery.

Upon hearing the news that Blue Grasshopper closed in August 2020, due to the amount of debt the establishment’s third location had accumulated without sufficient revenue, Schermerhorn seized the chance to resurrect the restaurant as The Hopper Pub & Pizzeria — not only to restore its presence in Rio Rancho, but also because it brings back memories of meeting her husband, Jon.

The Hopper Pub & Pizzeria opens this week.

Destiny and Jon met in 2015, when the couple first locked eyes sitting at the bar.

“He was down at the end of the bar. We were making eye contact a lot, but he never came up and talked to me; he was too chicken,” Schermerhorn said. “I came down to him, and I said, ‘What are you doing all by yourself over here? Why don’t you come talk to me?’
“He was like, ‘Oh, I was so nervous about how pretty you were, so why don’t I get you a beer now and make it up to you?’ With a little liquid courage, I took care of it.”

The couple tied the knot in 2017. Four years later, The Hopper Pub & Pizzeria entered the picture.

Schermerhorn said Blue Grasshopper’s third location in downtown Albuquerque, which already had to fork over money to pay for renovations up front, dealt with lots of competition from other breweries in the area.

She also said by the time that third location opened, it only managed to sell a few beers every week.

“And it just brought everything down… This was part of our family, so it was very devastating. We’re very excited to revive it a little bit,” she said.

Schermerhorn said The Hopper Pub & Pizzeria, on Arrowhead Ridge Drive, off Ridgecrest Drive just west of NM 528, will maintain the same atmosphere felt at Blue Grasshopper, only there will be a greater emphasis on the restaurant element, featuring firebrick-oven pizza and desserts like cakes and brownies.

She also said The Hopper will offer a mix of local and national beer brands, and the restaurant will look into acquiring its “Restaurant B” liquor license in 2022 to offer New Mexico-distilled spirits.

“(Blue Grasshopper) could only do New Mexico beers,” Schermerhorn said.

Now she’s ready to restore and enhance the very place that holds special meaning in her life.

“I never imagined we’d be owning this place, but here we are,” she said. “Definitely full circle.”

Matt Hollinshead | Staff writer