Gone But Not Forgotten

The fate of far too many restaurants in New Mexico

There are approximately 970,000 restaurants across the fruited plain and–according to 2012 figures provided by the National Restaurant Association–they account for $632 billion in sales per year. Opening a new restaurant is not, however, a lucrative proposition nor is longitude a certainty. According to market analysis, the average “life span” of restaurants can be tenuous. Up to 90 percent of independent establishments shutter their doors during their first year of operation. Seventy percent of those which make it past their first year cease operations in the next three to five years. Ninety percent of the restaurants operating beyond the five-year mark will stay in business for a minimum of ten years.

Just think about all the restaurants across the Land of Enchantment which have been unable to sustain a consistent customer base over time. Their success or failure can be attributed to many factors: insufficient capital to cover operating costs; location, location, location; competition from chains; inability to differentiate from the competition; and many other reasons, not all of them bad. Over the years many successful restaurants closed their doors so their dedicated owners can enjoy well-deserved retirements. Owning and operating a restaurant is fraught with challenges and risks. Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog celebrates all the culinary warriors who fed us well, but no longer operate within our borders. You are missed!

Closed in 2018

528 Sushi & Asian Cuisine (Albuquerque) |  Aya’s New Asian Japanese Cuisine (Albuquerque) | Beto’s Cocina (Albuquerque) | Fierenze (Albuquerque) | Groundstone | Kaktus Brewing Company (Albuquerque) | Leilani’s Cafe (Albuquerque) | Milton’s Cafe | Nanami Noodle House (Albuquerque) | Philly’s N Fries (Albuquerque) | Sara’s Pastries & Deli (Albuquerque) | Señor Tortas (Albuquerque) | South Bourbon Kitchen (Albuquerque) | SweeTea Bakery Cafe (Albuquerque)

Closed in 2017

Antonio’s Cafe & Cantina (Albuquerque) | Bricklight Dive (Albuquerque) | Bucketheadz (Albuquerque) | Cafe Bella Luca (Truth or Consequences) | Chama River Brewing Company (Albuquerque) | Chicharroneria Orozco (Albuquerque) | Chow’s Asian Bistro (Albuquerque) | Delish (Albuquerque) | ECLECTIC URBAN PIZZERIA AND BEER TAP (Albuquerque)| El Maguey (Rio Rancho) | ELI’S PLACE (Albuquerque) | Fox and Grille Pub & Grille (Albuquerque) | Gold Street Caffe (Albuquerque) | Irrational Pi (Albuquerque)| Karibu Cafe (Albuquerque) | Kasey’s Restaurant & Pub (Albuquerque) | Kitchen 7 (Albuquerque) | The Library (Albuquerque) | Mama Lisa’s Ghost Town Kitchen | Marcello’s Chophouse (Albuquerque) | Marley’s BBQ (Albuquerque) | Murphy’s Mule Barn (Albuquerque) | Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria (Albuquerque) | Olive Branch Bistro (Albuquerque) | Omira Bar & Grill (Santa Fe) |Panchito’s Restaurant & Bakery (Albuquerque) | Papaburgers (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque) | Pasion Latin Fusion (Albuquerque) | Pete’s Frites (Albuquerque) | Q Burger (Albuquerque) | Thai Heritage (Albuquerque) | ZS&T’s Great Grub (Albuquerque)

Closed in 2016

Adieux Cafe (Albuquerque) | Cafe Caribe (Albuquerque) | Cafe Jean Pierre (Albuquerque) | China Best (Albuquerque) Desert Grows (Los Ranchos De Albuquerque) | Doc & Eddie’s (Albuquerque) | Duke City Donuts (Albuquerque) | Gioco (Albuquerque) | Harla May’s Fat Boy Grill (Belen) | Heimat House and Beer Garden (Albuquerque) | High Finance (Albuquerque) | Hua Chang (Albuquerque) | Ice Cream Palace and Hot Dog World (Rio Rancho) | Jennifer James 101 (Albuquerque) | Jhett’s Restaurant | JR’s Bar-B-Q (Albuquerque) | Kasbah Mediterranean (Albuquerque) | Mariscos Mazatlan (Rio Rancho) | May Hong (Albuquerque) | Mekong Ramen House (Albuquerque) | Nosh Jewish Delicatessen & Bakery (Albuquerque) | Patricia’s Cafe (Albuquerque) | Prime (Los Ranchos De Albuquerque) | Rub-N’Wood Bar-B-Q (Rio Rancho) | Soul & Vine (Albuquerque) | Taste of Himalayas (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque) | Tratta Bistro (Albuquerque) | Vernon’s Open Door (Albuquerque) | Zia Diner (Santa Fe) |

Closed in 2015

Ahh Sushi (Rio Rancho) | Albuquerque Tortilla Factory (Albuquerque) | Ali Baba (Albuquerque) | Badlands Burgers & Tortas (Grants) | Bert’s Burger Bowl (Santa Fe) | Cafe Bien (Albuquerque)| Chillz Frozen Custard (Albuquerque) | Cool Water Fusion (Albuquerque) | El Norteño (Albuquerque)| Epazote on the Hillside (Santa Fe) | Gravy (Albuquerque) | Happy Belly Deli (Truth or Consequences) | Kim Long Asian Cuisine (Albuquerque) | Los Equipales (Albuquerque) | Loving Vegan (Albuquerque) | New Yorken Cafe & Bakery (Albuquerque)| Paul’s Monterey Inn (Albuquerque) | Route 66 Malt Shop (Albuquerque) | Seferino’s New Mexican Restaurant (Rio Rancho) | Sengdao Bar-B-Q Asian Cuisine (Albuquerque) | Shade Tree Customs & Cafe (Albuquerque) | The Spot Cafe (Albuquerque) | The Stumbling Steer (Albuquerque) | Tara Thai Cuisine (Albuquerque) | Tim’s Place (Albuquerque | Viet Q (Albuquerque) | Witch’s Brew (Albuquerque)|

Closed in 2014

Antonio’s: A Taste of Mexico (Taos) | Back-Sass BBQ (Bernalillo) | Bouche (Albuquerque) | Chez Bob (Albuquerque) | Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill & Burgers (Santa Fe) | Charlie’s Front Door (Albuquerque) | Chile Rio Mexican Grill (Albuquerque) | Dagmar’s Restaurant & Strudel Haus (Albuquerque) | Dragonfly Cafe & Bakery (Taos) | El Pollo Real (Albuquerque) | Jamon’s Frybread Cabana (Albuquerque) |La Cafe Miche (Albuquerque) | La Esquina Restaurante (Albuquerque) | La Fonda Del Bosque (Albuquerque) | La Sirenita (Albuquerque) | Lumpy’s Burgers (Albuquerque) | Mint Tulip Vegan Cafe (Albuquerque) | NM Rodeo Burgers (Rio Rancho) | Paddy Rawal’s OM Fine Dining Cuisine (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque) | Pho Hoa (Los Ranchos De Albuquerque) | Rafiki Cafe (Albuquerque) | Red Ball Cafe (Albuquerque) |RedBrick Pizza (Albuquerque) | Roper’s Restaurant (Albuquerque) | Serafin’s Chile Hut (Albuquerque) | Taste of Peru (Albuquerque) | Terra Bistro Italiano (Albuquerque) | Village Subs (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque) | Willard Cantina & Cafe (Willard) |

Closed in 2013

Ancient Spirits Bar & Grill (Bernalillo) | Bailey’s On The Beach (Albuquerque) | Blue Heron Restaurant (Santa Fe) | Bobcat Bite (Santa Fe) | Brasserie La Provence (Albuquerque) | Christy’s Food Factory (Albuquerque) | Cosmos Tapas (Albuquerque) | Coyote Diner (Albuquerque) | Desert Fish (Albuquerque) | Ezra’s Place (Albuquerque) | Fratelli Bistro (Albuquerque) | Graham’s Grille by Lesley B. Fay (Taos) | India Palace (Albuquerque) | La Casita Cafe (Bernalillo) | Lucia (Albuquerque) | Mariscos La Playa (Albuquerque) | Paco’s International Smoked Cuisine (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque) | Peppers (Albuquerque) Piggy’s Hot Dogs & Burgers (Albuquerque) | Prickly Pear Bar & Grill (Albuquerque) | Rey’s Place (Albuquerque) | The Smokehouse Barbecue Restaurant (Rio Rancho) | Timbuctu Bistro (Rio Rancho) | Tomme (Santa Fe) |

Closed in 2012

4 Aces Grill (Albuquerque) | Amici (Albuquerque) | Aqua Santa (Santa Fe) | Barry’s Oasis (Albuquerque) | Billet’s Grill (Albuquerque) | Cafe Green (Albuquerque) | Chef’s Bistro (Albuquerque) | Embudo Station (Embudo) | Gregorio’s Italian Kitchen (Albuquerque) | Hakata Asian Cuisine & Grill (Albuquerque) | Hello Gyro (Albuquerque) | The Hole Thing Donut Shop (Red River) | Jo’s Place (Albuquerque) | Johndhi’s BBQ (Albuquerque) | Josh’s Place (Santa Fe) | Juan’s Broken Taco (Albuquerque) | Just a Bite (Albuquerque) | La Hacienda Express (Bernalillo) | Mamba’s Kitchen (Albuquerque) | Milton’s Family Restaurant (Albuquerque) | Miss Saigon Bar & Grill (Albuquerque) | Pacific Rim Asian Bistro (Albuquerque) | Paradise Donuts (Bosque Farms) | Ponderosa Steakhouse (Tijeras) | Ravioli Italian Kitchen (Albuquerque) | Real Food Nation (Santa Fe) | Sandia Crust Pizza Company (Cedar Crest) | Salsas Grill (Albuquerque) | Señor Dog (Albuquerque) | Silvano’s New Mexican Restaurant (Albuquerque) | Three Forks at Rancho De San Juan (Ojo Caliente) | Vivace (Albuquerque) | Zea Rotisserie & Grill (Albuquerque) |

Closed in 2011

Cafe Choroni (Albuquerque) | Calico Cantina & Cafe (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque) | Casa Chaco (Albuquerque) | Coronado Grill (Bernalillo) | The Cajun Kitchen (Albuquerque) | Evergreen Buffet (Albuquerque) | Fratellis (Rio Rancho) | GoNuts Donuts (Albuquerque) | Guicho’s Authentic Mexican Food (Albuquerque) | Las Mañanitas (Albuquerque) | Los Mayas (Santa Fe) | Matilda’s Restaurant (Española) | McGrath‘s (Albuquerque) | Outlook Cafe (Rio Rancho) | Outpost Bar & Grill (Carrizozo) | Rocco’s Pizzeria (Rio Rancho) | Rodeo Grill (Albuquerque) | Sevyn’s Cafe (Rio Rancho) | Wings N’ Things (Albuquerque) | Yen Ching (Albuquerque) |

Closed in 2010

Barb’s Place (Albuquerque) | Ben & Jerry’s (Albuquerque) | The Black Olive Wine Bar & Grill (Rio Rancho) | Blue Cactus Grill (Albuquerque) | Buckingham Smokehouse (Las Vegas, Nevada) The Burrito Wagon (Taos) | Charcoal Mediterranean Grill (Albuquerque) | Chef Jim White’s Cafe & Catering (Albuquerque) | Dahlia’s Central Mexican Cuisine (Rio Rancho) | Duke’s Steakhouse (Albuquerque) | Gypsy 360 Cafe & Espresso Bar (Arroyo Seco) | Honnell’s Late Nite Burger (Santa Fe) | Independence Grill (Albuquerque) | Japengo Sushi (Albuquerque) | JB’s Family Restaurant (Albuquerque) | Joseph’s Table (Taos) | Lamy Station Cafe (Lamy) | Lotus Cafe (Albuquerque) | Mad Max’s BBQ (Rio Rancho) | Nana’s Trattoria & Pizzeria (Albuquerque) | Noda’s Japanese Cuisine (Rio Rancho) | Perennials Restaurant (Albuquerque) | Porky’s Pride Real Pit Barbecue (Los Ranchos De Albuquerque) | A Taste of Soul (Albuquerque) |

Closed in 2009

505 Southwestern (Albuquerque) | Athens Eclectic Greek (Albuquerque) | Ay Caramba (Albuquerque) | Charlie’s Burgers & Mexican Food (Bernalillo) | The Chili Stop Cafe (Albuquerque) | Hurley’s Cafe, Tea & Bistro (Albuquerque) | Kim’s Vietnamese Gourmet Cuisine (Albuquerque) | Kokopelli’s Restaurant & Cantina (Sandia Park) | La Norteñita (Albuquerque) | Marlene’s (Albuquerque) | Mis Amigos (Albuquerque) | Painted Horse Coffeehouse (Albuquerque) | Quesada’s New Mexican Restaurant (Albuquerque) | Sabroso’s (Albuquerque) | Sunshine Cafe (Albuquerque) | Villa Del Mar (Albuquerque) | Village Grill (Moriarty) |

Closed in 2008

Adelita’s Mexican Restaurant (Albuquerque) | Altitude’s Wine Bar & Restaurant (Red River) | Asado Brazilian Grill (Albuquerque) | Bombay Grill (Albuquerque) | Cafe Milano (Albuquerque) | Cafe Pink (Santa Fe) | Cafe San Estevan (Santa Fe) | Cafe Voila (Albuquerque) | California Baja Grill (Rio Rancho) | Capo’s Bottega Ristorante Italiano (Bernalillo) | Carrabba’s Italian Grill (Albuquerque) | Casa Grande Restaurant (Albuquerque) | The Chili Stop (Albuquerque) | Cloud Cliff Bakery & Cafe (Santa Fe) | Copeland’s (Albuquerque) | La Costa Azul (Albuquerque) | Consetta’s Green Restaurant (Jemez Springs) | The Cup (Albuquerque) | The Cup (Albuquerque) | Dave’s Not Here (Santa Fe) | Deli Mart West (Albuquerque) | Don Yasmany Cuban Restaurant & Bakery (Albuquerque) | Downtown Gourmet (Albuquerque) | Great American Steakhouse (Albuquerque) | Gruet Grille (Albuquerque) | Have Your Cake Bakery & Cafe (Albuquerque) | Hot Diggity (Albuquerque) | Mariscos Culiacan (Albuquerque) |Mediterranean Cafe (Albuquerque) | Neko Sushi (Albuquerque) | The Old House Gastropub (Corrales) | Pastrami & Things (Albuquerque) | Taka Sushi (Albuquerque) | Tawan Thai Cuisine (Rio Rancho) | Thai Basil (Albuquerque) | Tocororo Cafe (Madrid) | Tony Roma’s (Albuquerque) |

Closed in 2007

Ambrozia (Albuquerque) | Asia Restaurant (Albuquerque) | The Blue Dragon (Albuquerque) | Cafe O (Albuquerque) | California Witches (Albuquerque) | Chicago Beef (Albuquerque) | Chilepeños (Sandia Park) | Conrad’s (Albuquerque) | Eurasia Bistro & Sushi Bar (Albuquerque) | The Falls Steakhouse (Albuquerque) | Fil-Am Fast Food Mart (Albuquerque) | Graze (Albuquerque) | Hong Thai (Rio Rancho) | Marco Pollo Charbroiled Chicken (Albuquerque) | Pueblito Mexicano (Bernalillo) | Rice N’ Roll (Bernalillo) | Señor Lucky’s (Santa Fe) | Starky’s (Albuquerque) |

Closed in 2005

Nouveau Noodles (Cedar Crest) |

13 thoughts on “Gone But Not Forgotten”

  1. Kerry rose says:

    There was a Greek/ Mexican restaurant on east central and Montgomery in the 80’s and 90’s that served breakfast and lunch whose owner I believe is related to Vic of vic’s daily cafe. Do you remember the name of either restaurant? Thanks for your help

    1. Jim Millington says:

      I am pretty sure that you are referring to Goody’s. There was also one on Juan Tabo. Calling it Mexican would be a real stretch but the owners were Greek..I have heard (completely unverified) the same family owns Fiesta’s ay Crlisle & Montgomery.

      1. BOTVOLR says:

        Goody’s: Lest I be wrong, wasn’t this one http://tinyurl.com/y7zcsafd at Montgomery and San Pedro. Wasn’t their claim to fame at all of them being a toaster on the tables?

        The Fiesta: I believe a Guy named Carpenter does or has owned/co-owned that, where they serve a great “home style” Chimi. (It used to be a Little Anita’s as part of the old “conglomerate”.) I think he also had some money in the razed Rio Grande “biker bar” which had made a footprint on the overflow parking lot of The “new” Range.

        1. mary sproul says:

          We are looking for Goody”s -not on Central. It had toasters on each table. Was there an ad with a singing toaster and the phase “pop on in”?

  2. Andres says:

    Do you remember a restaurant on Menal just east of Wyoming named Charle Jon

    1. Gil Garduno says:

      Hi Andres

      I don’t remember that restaurant, but perhaps some of the folks who contribute to the numerous “Albuquerque: Remember When” sites might. There are some wonderful online resources that will evoke nostalgia among those of us who grew up in the Duke City. I recommend Tripsavvy’s Remembering Vintage Albuquerque which has got some terrific restaurant photos; Remember in Albuquerque When, a public Facebook site where people share memories about life in Albuquerque; and Albuquerque History of Change, another Facebook site which brings back memories.

      Best,

      Gil

      1. Roland says:

        I just saw this comment tonight. I do remember Charle Jon exactly in that location. It was a very fine restaurant. My parents loved to eat there whenever they came to visit. I remember once my father was very impressed by their roast leg of spring lamb when they visited in the spring. We even went back a second time when the chef/owner was preparing it as a special for Easter Sunday. The food was always prepared with care and beautifully plated. An elegant feel at a reasonable price. Remembering it makes me wish it was still there.

  3. James says:

    We’re racking our brains here trying to remember what Geckos in Nob Hill used to be called. Anybody recall?

    1. Gil Garduno says:

      The East Central location which has housed Gecko’s for more than two decades started out in 1993 as Chez What which had a sister presence in Santa Fe. Founder and owner Mark Zanoni later changed its name to Gecko’s Gallery & Grill.

    2. Trish wall says:

      Chez what.

  4. Victor Gunderson says:

    Gil- Quick question. Why did you change the format on Gone But Not Forgotten? There used to be a count next to the year on the side panel. It was an easy way to keep track of the state of the NM restaurant scene (unscientifically). I always found it interesting to see the changes from year to year and how the reviewed restaurants were faring as the year went on. Thanks.

    1. Gil Garduno says:

      Hello Victor

      Thank you for alerting me that the “Restaurants by Category” menu was no longer showing counts. I’ve reset that feature. Now you can have an at-a-glance count of how many restaurants have closed on a given year and on the “Gone But Not Forgotten” page, you can get a quick list view of the restaurants that closed.

      Gil

  5. Jeff G says:

    Holy cow! Talk about a trip down old memory lane. I wonder how many Chili’s and Applebee’s have closed during the same time.

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