New ‘sangwich’ shop offers unique take on classic cuisine

There’s a new “sangwich” shop in the City of Vision aiming to serve up food so good it will make you say uncle.

Uncle T’s Sangwiches, Stews and Coffee opened its doors at 1520 Deborah Road, Suite O, in June and has been building on client base ever since.

The brain child of co-owners Rio Rancho native Clinton Ellison III and Head Chef Thomas J. Montoya of Albuquerque, Uncle T’s started out as an idea for a food truck but quickly evolved into a full-service restaurant.

“We wanted to add some local variety to the food scene,” Ellison said. “I grew up here and live here, and I wanted to offer a type of food I felt was under-served here.”

He said he thought the opportunity to open a restaurant was farther down the road but found that the location Uncle T’s is at now was affordable.

“We still want to offer a food truck, but we got a deal on this location and we couldn’t be happier with it,” he said. “We originally looked at a place on Southern (Boulevard), but the construction terrified us because we are just starting out and don’t have an established clientele.”

Sangwich Shop Kitchen
Uncle T’s Sangwich shop co-owners Clinton Ellison III, left, and chef Thomas J. Montoya talk about the idea of opening a new restaurant in Rio Rancho; open since June, Uncle T’s has offered customers a unique take on the classic sandwich, as well as soups and small desserts.
(Stephen Montoya)

Ellison and Montoya began renovations on the 1,800-square-foot space using reclaimed wood to decorate the walls.

Montoya, who takes care of most of the kitchen duties, said the pair bought all new kitchen equipment and invested what they could to make Uncle T’s a reality.

Ellison and Montoya are no strangers to the restaurant business, either. Both of them spent many years working in various capacities at several restaurants in Albuquerque, with Montoya being trained in culinary arts.

“It’s different now because the buck stops with us as the owners, as opposed to where we both worked before,” Ellison said. “Now everything lands on us, and we want to make a good impression. I mean, this is a dream come true to be able to do this.”

Source: Albuquerque Journal