Dave's Valley Grill to open second location in Heights

Dave’s Valley Grill to open second location in Heights

The Dave’s Valley Burger at Dave’s Valley Grill. A second location of the restaurant, Dave’s High Desert, is opening this week and shares the same menu. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

For years, Dave’s Valley Grill has brought comfort food classics such as meatloaf and turkey dinner to the North Valley.

And now, Albuquerque residents will have another place to go for an (almost) home-cooked meal. That’s Dave’s High Desert, which opens later this week at 5200 Eubank NE. It’s the same menu and the same Dave — Dave Hanisch, that is.

Hanisch opened Dave’s Valley Grill in 2018. Dave’s High Desert will be the seventh restaurant he’s opened, and the third in New Mexico. About 25 years ago, he opened a K-Bob’s Steakhouse location. But Dave’s Valley Grill was the first concept that he designed from floor to ceiling.

“I designed the space, oversaw the buildout, I did all the menu, I do all the recipes, everything, myself,” Hanisch said. “It’s really rewarding when it all comes together and works.”

Hanisch has had a career in the food industry spanning more than 50 years. His first restaurant job was at Perkins Pancake House (now Perkins Restaurant and Bakery) when he was 17. He’s been involved in the restaurant business ever since. For many years, Hanisch worked as a food broker, helping other business owners develop menus and restaurant concepts.

“I learned a lot on how to put a really good concept together from beginning to end,” Hanisch said. “I learned a lot more about food ingredients and different types of foods, so I can put them together in a tasty dish.”

He’s lived in New Mexico since 1988. Over the years, he noticed that there was a lack of American comfort food restaurants in Albuquerque.

“It’s basically food that I grew up with — a lot of the older folks in my generation grew up with,” Hanisch said.

Dave’s Valley Grill recently expanded with the addition of a lounge next door. Once that project was finished, Hanisch said he felt ready to add a second location. It was the cherry on top when the owner of the strip mall where Dave’s High Desert will open gave him a call after eating there with her daughter.

“When this became available … just, I couldn’t say no,” Hanisch said.

The grand opening is Jan. 18. Hanisch said that, for the past few weeks, he’s been putting the finishing touches on the new location.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, but it’s really a lot of fun,” Hanisch said.


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