Dion’s Marketing Director Audrey Johnson announced in a Nov. 29 press release that Tula’s Kitchen inside the La Cueva Town Center is officially open.
“The doors to Tula’s Kitchen are officially open! Tula’s is a casual restaurant featuring authentic scratch-made, crave-worthy food and drinks, a large patio, and a modern, comfortable environment for family dinners, get-togethers among couples and friends, and business lunches,” the press release reads.
The restaurant opened its doors to customers last month, but a manager said they were waiting for a part to one of the heaters in the outdoor patio area before launching a grand opening.
Menu items include lemon- and herb-roasted chicken, grilled sandwiches, macaroni and cheese with a breadcrumb topping, tater tots with a tzatziki drizzle, beer and wine.
“Albuquerque is ripe for this type of restaurant concept and we are thrilled with the outcome,” Dion’s and Tula’s CEO Mark Herman said in a statement. “At Tula’s, we’ve preserved the heart of what makes Dion’s great and built a whole new experience around it. We’re proud to offer great food in a comfortable, modern atmosphere with the fast, friendly service you expect from us.”
Co-founder Jon Patten’s family provided inspiration for the new restaurant. According to the press release, Patten’s late aunt Tula was known for her “flavorful, scratch-made cooking.” Tula is short for Athenaoula, a variation of the Greek name Athena.
“We believe the best expression of friendship, family and community happens over a good meal,” Patten said. “And that’s why we built another concept with this in mind.”
Tula’s is in the building across from Dion’s near Paseo del Norte and Wyoming Blvd. that used to be an IHOP before being remodeled. The building features a mural by local artist and former Dion’s employee Molly Mendenhall.