New future for former NE Heights steakhouse

The old Great American Land and Cattle Co. restaurant at Tramway and Indian School will be transformed into a new event center. (Journal file photo)
The old Great American Land and Cattle Co. restaurant at Tramway and Indian School will be transformed into a new event center. (Journal file photo)

There is finally something new in store for the onetime Great American Land and Cattle Co. steakhouse, but it isn’t a restaurant.

An Albuquerque-based events company is turning the long-dormant space at Tramway and Indian School into a new venue, making what its owner said could end up as a $1 million investment. Akshay Patel said he has signed a lease-to-purchase agreement for the building and has already begun renovations. The City View Event Center by Simply Decor should start hosting events by year’s end.

Patel’s Simply Decor and Events business has for years hosted events at hotels and other outside facilities, Patel said, but he liked the idea of having his own place. The two-story Tramway space appealed because it had a full kitchen, a spacious balcony and what he called “amazing” views of the city.

“I actually took a whole bunch of people with us out there to see the place beforehand — to see if it’s going to work, and everyone I took said this is going to be … a great venue,” he said.

Richard Hanna of Hanna Commercial, who represented the property owner in the deal, said the 8,500-square-foot space had been vacant for about seven years, perhaps because it was too big for most restaurant businesses, though he had come close to filling it with a brewpub.

“You need to have a huge operation in order to do 8,500-square-foot as a restaurant. Changing the use a little bit is really what made the difference,” he said. “I think it will make a great event center.”

Patel said weddings represent most of his business, but he also does film industry functions and corporate events. He also works as an actor and model and said he anticipates City View playing host to wrap parties for Albuquerque-based film and TV productions.

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