The previous location, at 1606 Central Ave. SE, did not work out for restaurant owner Paul Kress, who said his landlord, David Souls, was charging him for the utilities of the other businesses housed in the complex where the University Grill used to be.
After engaging in several conversations, Kress said the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement, and required legal assistance. Kress said he has since pressed charges against Souls and has moved his business to 120 Harvard SE.
“Everyone said I was crazy for moving. My friends said I was crazy,” Kress said. “My attorneys said I made the right decision.”
In a phone interview, Souls said he rents out other buildings across the city and in Rio Rancho. He also hinted at a larger story behind Kress’ move, but would not elaborate.
“It has to do with unpaid rent,” Souls said. “Since there is going to be a lawsuit, I really don’t think I should say anything further.”
Souls said his property is currently home to a variety of different projects and businesses, but would not speak further regarding University Grill.
“It used to be a vibrant Souper Salad restaurant,” Souls said of the property. “It’s currently occupied by architects, engineers and artists.”
Kress said he expects to lose some regulars by changing the location, but he also expects to gain a lot of new clientele.
“We are creating a new menu for college students,” Kress said. “We want the specials to appeal to college kids.”
Although Kress doesn’t anticipate getting his liquor license for the new location any time soon, he said the previous location did just fine without beer.
“It sucks because we had just gotten approved by the state at the other spot,” Kress said. “We will still have other deals to bring people in.”
Head chef Jose Infante-Segura said the menu will remain the same as it was at the previous location, but will feature more specials.
“It’s for the school kids,” Infante-Segura said. “Breakfast, lunch and dinner specials.”
Infante-Segura will have more room to work in the new location as the kitchen space is larger. The chef said he is pleased to have a kitchen that is three times bigger than the previous one.
The new location on Harvard will hold more customers as well, Kress said. He said the new location can hold up to 75 people and has a patio for when the weather is nice.
Kress said the University Grill will re-open at the Harvard location within the next two weeks.
Liam Cary-Eaves, Thomas Romero-Salas and Aaron Anglin is assistant sports editor, sports editor and staff photographer, respectively, for the Daily Lobo. Cary-Eaves, Romero-Salas and Anglin wrote this story through UNM’s New Mexico News Port project.