After much Internet sleuthing, we are sad to announce that New York City staple La Taza de Oro is shutting down. The Puerto Rican luncheonette has been around for 68 years, and during its nearly seven decades, it was frequented by locals, as well as celebrities like Rubén Blades, Carlos Santana, and Madonna.
It was initially rumored that La Taza de Oro would reopen in January after having been closed down by the city for months, according to Vanishing New York.
Vanishing New York‘s Jeremiah Moss went by the restaurant to get more answers. He met with owner Eric Montalvo, who was cleaning and taking things apart. Montalvo is retiring, and because his children weren’t interesting in running the restaurant, he decided to move on.
According to Vanishing New York, “The breaking point, however, came when the city made it impossible to stay open after the Second Avenue gas explosion this past spring caused city agencies to panic and tighten the rules, so that when a few bricks fell from the neighboring facade, Con Ed turned off the gas in the Montalvos’ building and the Department of Buildings slapped them with an order to vacate. They lost nine months of income.” Moreover, the changing neighborhood – aka Google employees across the street that Montalvo says aren’t blessed enough to know Puerto Rican food – has also been a blow to the business.
Montalvo plans to go back to the Caribbean, but he wants to give another Latin restaurant a chance to thrive by renting the space.
To remember La Taza de Oro, check out our gallery of the diner above, shot in 2014 before it shuttered. We’ve also rounded up some of the most delicious pictures of their food available on the Interwebs: