Leray Scifres learned to cook professionally at the now shuttered T&P Freight Warehouse when it was home to the culinary institute of TSTC-Abilene.

“I was in the first class,” he said, finishing as valedictorian in 2011. 

Now, he has keys to the building.

Call it La Stazioné

Scifres, owner of The Flour Shop Bakery and Gatehouse Café at Abilene Regional Airport, plans to open an upscale Italian restaurant and bar in the T&P building, 901 N. First St.

Scifres is leasing 10,000 square feet of the building, noticeable for the iconic outdoor flamingo sculpture at the corner, from local developer Charlie Wolfe. Wolfe bought the building in March 2021 after outbidding the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. 

His stated intent at the time was to put a restaurant at the site.

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