The anticipation is over.
The Nob Hill Flying Star — the closest Flying Star to campus — has just reopened its doors to hungry and eagerly awaiting Burqueños.
After a three-month remodeling period, the local establishment is resuming regular business at its 3416 Central Ave. SE location.
The Flying Star originated as a Double Rainbow Ice Cream in the bright age of 1987, and this location operated consistently until Aug. 1 of this year.
The focus of the renovations was to modernize the establishment while still preserving its historical integrity, since most of the edifice dates back to 1944. Included in the renovations are a refurbished kitchen, an upgraded seating plan and new furniture.
"We tore apart the whole place inside. Most of the renovations were technical, so they involved electrical fixes, plumbing and sewer stuff. We got a new kitchen," said Jean Bernstein, the president and CEO of Flying Star. "But the original building is from 1944, and we have a wing from 1948, so our focus was to keep the character of the original architecture."
The decision to renovate Flying Star came eight years ago, according to Bernstein. However, due largely to residual financial strain from the recession, the plans to renovate didn't fully come together until this year. Indeed, the decision to temporarily close Flying Star was not officially made until preparations were carefully planned out and documented, she said.
"We made sure that despite the number of renovations we wanted, Flying Star would only be closed for a short amount of time," Bernstein said.
Flying Star celebrated its return as an Albuquerque favorite last Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. and a reopening party from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., which featured live music, a variety of games and face painting.
Nob Hill has notoriously had several establishments close within the past year, including but not limited to Scalo Northern Italian Grill, Zacatecas Tacos, Elaine's and Last Call. Bernstein said that as a result, multiple individuals accused Flying Star of closing permanently during its three-month renovation period.
When asked about operating a business in a constantly changing area, Bernstein said, "It’s very challenging. ART especially took an initial bite out of everyone."
Though there have been debates about potentially closing Nob Hill’s Flying Star in the past, local residents can rest assured that the restaurant is not going anywhere anytime soon.
"It makes much more sense to leave Flying Star in its current location because it will draw more people from everywhere. And we don’t just want to serve the immediate neighborhood — we want to draw people from all over the city," Bernstein said. "I think Flying Star is the big ship, meaning we are steadying on, despite shaky conditions in the water. Our end goal is to help the neighborhood and show faith in the area."
Beatrice Nisoli is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BeatriceNisoli