ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A familiar building in downtown Abilene will soon house a new Italian restaurant after a local resident acquired a new lease to the T&P Building.

Leray Scifres, owner of The Flour Shop Bakery inside the Abilene Regional Airport, will soon be moving in. Scifres is relocating the bakery to his new full Italian-influenced bar cuisine La Stazione.  

“The first dish that I remember that I fell in love with was at a restaurant in Fort Worth, it was the chicken Parmesan,” said Scifres.   

After that dish, he says he couldn’t get enough of Italian food.   

“That’s just a genre of food that I always went to and enjoyed. And when I started cooking, I enjoyed cooking it,” said Scifres.  

Scifres grew up in Abilene, and back in 2011 he says he was a student in the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) culinary program that was formally housed in the T&P Building. 

“I was actually in the first class here that had the classes here and went through the school here. I graduated with my degree from here,” he says.   

Scifres says he never imagined serving the Key City on a scale like this. When he decided to start the La Stazione project in October 2021, he wanted the restaurant in the T&P Building in particular because of the memories he had previously created in the kitchen. 

“This is like coming back home to me,” said Scifres.  

Now, he is looking forward to servicing the Key City in his new 10,000 square foot building with his upscale Italian food.  

“I am just absolutely thrilled to be a part of it. We’re right here, right in the middle of it all. We’ve got the SoDA just to the south of us here and we’ve got the downtown just to the north,” said Scifres.   

Scifres says he’s hoping to accommodate people not just here in Abilene, but also those who come from all over.

He’s hoping to have everything up and running by mid-May of this year.