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Classic Chelsea Luncheonette La Taza De Oro Is Closed for Good

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The owner originally intended to reopen the restaurant next year, but he changed his plans.

[La Taza De Oro last fall.  Photo by Robert Sietsema]
[La Taza De Oro last fall. Photo by Robert Sietsema]

After nearly nine months in the dark, the owner of classic Chelsea greasy spoon La Taza de Oro has decided not to reopen the restaurant. The luncheonette's troubles started last spring when Con Ed turned off the gas and the DOB issued a vacate order after a few bricks fell from a neighboring building. The restaurant's proprietor, Eric Montalvo, also owns the building, but after losing nine months of income, he made the decision to close it for good. As Jeremiah Moss notes, he's retiring and his kids don't want to run the business.

Yesterday, Montalvo was clearing out the space. He's going to rent the storefront to a new tenant and he hopes that another Latin restaurant will move in. La Taza's distinctive yellow signs might end up on eBay.

Last year, Robert Sietsema put La Taza D'Oro on his list of "irreplaceable dining institutions."  Eater's critic noted: "This 1950s Puerto Rican lunch counter, perfectly intact in every detail including formica counter and menu rotating in weekly cycles, is supremely redolent of Chelsea's Latin past."

Here's a sign that hung on the facade of the restaurant shortly after its initial closure:

taza sign 2

Robert Sietsema

If you have any remembrances of this classic establishment, please share them in the comments.