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After more than a decade of serving an eclectic mix of Mexican, Greek and American food, Nick & Jimmy’s closed its doors for good Jan. 1.
Owner Nick Kapnison, now 90, retired in March 2022. Kapnison opened the restaurant in 2009 with then-business partner Jimmy Daskalos, who has since parted ways with Kapnison’s many business ventures.
Kapnison’s daughter, Nicole Kapnison, continued running the business until the beginning of the year, when the restaurant’s lease was up and she decided not to renew it.
Nicole Kapnison said that many customers looked forward to seeing her dad at the restaurant – after he retired, things weren’t quite the same.
“Without him there anymore, it was really sad for people not to see him,” Nicole Kapnison said.
The son of Greek immigrants, Nick Kapnison had an over six-decade career in the restaurant industry and opened dozens of restaurants in his lifetime, including Albuquerque favorite El Patron. He opened his first restaurant, the Court Cafe, in Downtown Albuquerque when he was 26.
“I probably spent 98% of my life in a restaurant,” Nicole Kapnison said.
Nicole Kapnison caught the restaurant bug from her father, opening her first restaurant, Nob Hill Bar and Grill, at age 26 – the same age her father opened his first restaurant.
She’ll continue running Mykonos Cafe and Taverna, which Kapnison and Daskalos bought in 2014, and Meraki Coffee and Market. A longtime manager of the Kapnison restaurant empire, Neta Dominguez, will keep Kap’s Coffee Shop and Diner, which has an over-40 year tenure, running.
Nicole Kapnison said that between running Mykonos and Meraki, running the bars at the state fairground and her cocktail company Nikle Co. Spirits, she couldn’t focus on keeping Nick & Jimmy’s running. And, it was her father’s place.
“It was just a place where people came to see my dad,” Nicold Kapnison said.
Although Nick and Jimmy’s has come to an end, Nicole Kapnison said, many of its menu items will live on in Mykonos, Meraki and Kap’s.
“We still have most of the items that people love so much,” Nicole Kapnison said.
All of the employees from Nick & Jimmy’s were encouraged to apply to jobs at Mykonos, Meraki and Kap’s, and many employees decided to move over, Nicole Kapnison said.
Gift cards to Nick & Jimmy’s will be honored at Mykonos.