Rowley Farmhouse Ales no longer have a safe to keep cash in.
The brewhouse restaurant doesn’t need one. This month, it went cashless, meaning patrons have to pay for their goods with debit or credit cards or digital wallets.
Anyway, thieves stole the safe, and all the cash in it, sometime late in the night on Election Day.
That’s why Rowley’s is going cashless, said co-owner Jeffrey Kaplan.
“They ripped out our safe and about two grand. Plus the safe cost about a grand,” he said on a recent afternoon at the restaurant, located in the midtown area.
That was the second of two recent robberies of the place, he said. The thieves netted $2,000 in the first robbery as well.
So the restaurant’s management team got together to consider options to provide safety for their employees, discourage crime and reduce cash loss.
Eliminating the cash factor seemed the best route, he said.
“They know restaurants have money,” Kaplan said of criminals looking for cash. “We said, ‘Let’s make this less of a target.’ ”
Through Rowley’s may be the first Santa Fe restaurant to take this approach — John Bradbury, head of the Greater Santa Fe Restaurant Association, said recently he had not heard of any others doing so — at least one restaurant owner in Albuquerque has been cashless for nearly a year.
The six Burritos Alinstante restaurants in Albuquerque and surrounding areas have been cashless for nearly a year now, said Mary Ellen Chavez, who runs the