Total transformation planned for legendary Sandia Peak restaurant

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s an Albuquerque icon, the place of countless romantic dinners. But now, there are plans to tear down the restaurant at the top of the Sandia Tram and open up a brand new establishment.

Joseph Lavender, a patron, said, “It’s an Albuquerque mainstay.”

The restaurant was first a small cafeteria, opened in the ’60s as Summit House, and a renovation turned it into High Finance in the late ’70s.

“It’s a landmark,” Lavender said. But plans call for the landmark to go.

“Mostly that the building is past its useful life, and we would like to make some great improvements to make a better mountain experience,” said Guy Jackson. Jackson is a senior engineer with Sandia Properties, representative of the Sandia Tram, and project and lead engineer for the High Finance reconstruction.

Jackson said the current owners’ lease is expiring and that the 7,000 square foot building would be demolished. In its place, a 12,800 square foot two-level building would open, complete with a new restaurant and bar built from scratch with even better views.

“We’d to take like the restaurant as it is and bring it up another four feet and then a little closer out to the cliff edge so we can take in this beautiful view,” Jackson said outside High Finance on Tuesday afternoon.

Some patrons are already nostalgic.

Bill Lavender from Ohio said, “I think they ought to keep it the way it is because it sure is nice inside. I think everything’s so modern nowadays, I think it ought to be left alone. It’s beautiful inside of there.”

But fine dining and new food options will usher in a new era at the legendary dining spot that’s two miles high and offers views of 11,000 square miles.

“It’s an end of a long run, and I think we’ve all had a lot of fun along the way, and we’re just looking to have something we all will enjoy,” Jackson said.

You still have time to enjoy High Finance. The current timeline calls for High Finance to be torn down in October of next year. A new restaurant, yet to be named, would open in May 2018. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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