About a month after Aggie’s All-American Grill closed in Hesston because of financial difficulties, a Texas family has plans to open an Italian restaurant in the building.

Vizhdan and Myrvette Burniku, a husband and wife team from Fort Worth, Texas, and their family plan to open Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant at 4 Leonard Court, just off of Interstate 135 in Hesston.

“Their lease starts Feb. 1, and they’ll need a couple months to get specialized equipment in, get their permits and redecorate it all,” said John Carder, Hesston’s city administrator. “Hopefully, they’ll open around the first of April.”

The Hesston City Council had a special meeting Monday morning regarding the restaurant. The city is involved because Aggie’s restaurant was financed through the city. Aggie’s was owned by Donnie and Andrea Ledford.

“We didn’t foreclose on the property, but they were in default,” Carder said.

The city approved offering the Burniku family a five-year contract on the building with an option to purchase it after a year. The contract also will include another three-year option on the building.

The city also worked with First Bank and the Burniku family to get a lien that had been placed on the equipment in the building lifted so the family can use the equipment for the new restaurant.

Carder said the Burniku family had been involved with a couple restaurants in Fort Worth but has sold its interest in one of the restaurants and is going to do so on the other.

The family moved to the United States in 1999 from Europe.

“The new restaurant will be owned and operated by the family,” Carder said. “I think there’s five of them. They’ll all be involved. One of the sons is the chef. He graduated from the Culinary University of Italy.”

Carder said the family hopes to start working on the restaurant in about a week.

“The restaurant will have pizza and other Italian foods,” Carder said. “They have a wide variety on the menu. They have a fantastic menu.”