ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque staple is closing its doors after 55 years of creating memories for families in Nob Hill, leaving customers devastated.

“What does it mean to me? Forty-five years of my life, and that’s a lot and it means a lot to me,” said owner or Mannie’s, Joseph Koury. One of the gems found at Central and Girard, Mannie’s Restaurant has served its last meal, and customers are stunned about losing the Albuquerque favorite.

Customers left flowers, candles, and notes just outside the restaurant’s doors over the weekend.    “I’m very sad, I wish something miraculous could happen that it would open back up,” said Mark Hendrick. 

Joseph Koury has owned the restaurant for more than 40 of its 55 years of existence in Nob Hill. But he made the difficult decision to close up shop on February 21. “A couple infrastructure problems that I thought would take quite a while to fix,” said Koury. 

He said the construction and implementation of the ART buses also played a role in his decision. However, he doesn’t want to dwell on what he can’t control and wants people to remember Mannie’s was truly a family business. 

“Everybody knew everyone, my kids, my nieces worked here, my nephews worked here and like I said, they got to know all the customers, the customers saw them grow up,” said Koury.  As he makes his final lap around a place he spent nearly every day for more than four decades, he wants to say thank you to his customers and hopes this spot with the vibrant red sign will always have a lasting memory in Albuquerque.

“I just want people to remember us as a great place to eat, a great gathering place where they met friends, where they made friends, and there was a lot of good stuff that happened here,” said Koury.

Koury said he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family. They expect to have the building cleared by the end of the month.