ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –An iconic restaurant that served the University of New Mexico students and locals for decades is now a big pile of rubble. Mannie’s Restaurant, which closed in 2020, was demolished this week to make way for something new.

Residents say they’ll miss the famous place. “It’s sad to see it go and, you know, it’s one of those places that you have memories of, and yeah it’s sad to see it go,” says resident Caroline Begay.

Mannie’s Restaurant was a family-run business that served everything from pancakes and huevos rancheros to chicken fried steak. Located on Central and Girard, it was a go-to spot for students and locals for 55 years. 

“Well, my daughter and I used to go in there on Fridays and eat their meatloaf all the time; he had good meatloaf. So it was just good food,” says resident Anthony Peña. 

“I was there a few times meeting up with friends after high school and we would go in, have coffee, have a few drinks, and you know just hang out. But it’s been there a long time and it’s actually kind of sad to see it go,” says Begay.

As the old building comes down, people are wondering what will replace it. News 13 has confirmed plans are underway to build a 4,000-square-foot building to house several businesses. 

It would have a rooftop and outdoor patio facing Central. Real estate brokers overseeing the project say there is a lot of interest in the new location. 

“I think it will help revitalize the university area – the Nob Hill area – and there’s a lot of development that’s already started and already been completed that’s doing just that,” says Todd Strickland, director of real estate for NAI SunVista.

While residents are sad to see Mannie’s gone, others are embracing the change. “I think it’s exciting that the whole area is getting a lot of new development and growth, but at the same time, it can be kind of bittersweet,” says resident Ian Shaw. 

NAI SunVista says the old building was in bad shape and couldn’t be saved. They expect demolition to be completed by the end of the week. 

Construction of the new building is expected to be completed by March 2024. They also said the new building would be powered entirely by solar panels.