May 8, 1897 Ad
This was run weekly over a period of time, see
The Albuquerque Tribune
June 25, 1964
Off the Beaten Path
Sunnyside was Popular Spot
In Old Town in the Gay '90's
By Howard Bryan
One of the most popular eating and drinking resorts in the Old Town Plaza area during the Gay 90's was the
Sunnyside, owned and operated by Charles Bottger.
The Sunnyside occupied one of the oldest buildings in Albuquerque, a one story, adobe structure a short distance south of the plaza.
It is believed that the building was erected originally as an inn, or posada. The Armijo family operated a general store in the building prior to the American occupation of 1846, and later it was converted into an inn known as the Exchange Hotel.
Converted to Hotel
Thomas Post, a stagecoach driver who came to Albuquerque from Kansas City in the 1860's, purchased the property and it became known as the Post Hotel. Mr. Post also operated a toll bridge across the Rio Grande west of the plaza, in the center of which was located a small home and grocery store.
Post married an Atrisco girl, and they were the parents of one daughter, Miquella Post.
Miquella married Max Stein, a salesman who came to Albuquerque in 1883 and who went into partnership
with Mike Mandeli in a hide and pelt business in Los Lunas.
Mr. Stein died in El Paso in 1891, and his widow later married Charles Bottger, member of a wealthy New
York family who came to Albuquerque in about 1893.
Mr. Bottger took over operation of his father-in-law's old hotel property and converted it into the Sunnyside, which was to include Albuquerque's first bowling alley.
Housed Private Club
Bottger died in 1912, and the building was abandoned until 1920 when it was opened again as the San Felipe Club. The building housed the private club until the early 1930's.
The historic structure served briefly as a museum in 1955. Weakened by a fire a few years ago, it was condemned by the city and demolished. The site is now covered by a parking lot just west of San Felipe NW between Central Ave. and the Plaza.
Customers at the Sunnyside were entertained by band concerts during weekend evenings in the summer of 1897.
Admission was free, according to the announcements, but the customers were expected to "irrigate" themselves.
The following notice, signed by Mr. Bottger, was published on the front page of The Albuquerque Weekly Cilizen on Saturday, May 29, 1897:
I wish to inform my friends and the public in general that I will introduce a new form of amusement for
the coming summer season, in the shape or an open-air concert garden.
Beginning May 29th and 30th there will be a band concert at the Sunnyside, and every Sunday night thereafter, weather permitting. The music will be furnished by the First Regiment Band, of Old Town, which band now has a membership of twenty-five, and in the point of first class music is second to none in the Southwest.
Many improvements have been made at the Sunnyside in the past few months, and we are now prepared to conduct our concerts on a large scale. The garden has a seating capacity of 450 people, half of whom will be accommodated with tables.
The bandstand is located on the roof, which insures a better quality of sound, as the audience will listen to music and not noise.
At present the garden will be illuminated by torches, but within 10 days these will be replaced by lights specially adapted to the purpose, and which will make the garden as light as day.
After June 10th the garden will be illumuminated every night for the accomodation of patrons who wish to enjoy a cool glass of beer, lunch, games, etc. in the open air.
The above concerts will begin every Sunday night at 8 p.m. and end at 10:30. Cars will be on hand at the conclusion of concert to accomodate new town visitors.
Bicycles will be checked to insure safe keeping.
No admission will be charged, but as this is a dry country we expect everybody to irrigate a little, and as irrigation is necessary to a healthy growth, we want everybody to grow healthy with pleasure, and we want to say right now that we have a first class line of irrigating material on hand. We don't run a one-horse outfit.
In conclusion, I will say that the Sunnyside will be conducted as in the past, respectable in each and every respect, courteous and polite treatment, good goods at reasonable prices, this is our motto.
Improper characters, hoodlums and hobos are hereby notified that that they are not wanted, and positively will not be admitted.
Respectfully yours, C. A. Bottger, Proprietor Sunnyside."