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Lunch Counter Icon La Taza de Oro Has Been Dark for a Month, Hopes to Reopen

Structural issues forced the shutter.

Franklin Mount

Classic Puerto Rican lunch counter La Taza de Oro is dark right now with a sign outside from fans that says "Taza, We Miss You." The building has a "full vacate" order from the Department of Buildings (pictured below) because, according to a NY1 story from early last month, residents of the building were forced out when falling bricks made the building unstable. The gas was shut off at the same time, and the fire department won't turn the gas back on until inspectors clear the building. Con Ed says there may also be internal wiring and piping issues that are unrelated to the falling bricks.

La Taza de Oro owner Maria Elizabeth Motalvo thought the restaurant would reopen in two weeks, but that doesn't seem to have happened. She told NY1: "There is no doubt that this is a safety precaution. We totally understand it. We submitted ourselves to the process. We just hope we can get this going as soon as possible." There's no response to calls to the restaurant and no updates from the team on social media.

This is the second time in under a year that the cafe has faced closure. Just this past September it was shuttered for a time by the Health Department. Last year, Robert Sietsema put La Taza on his historic preservation list, labeling it an irreplaceable dining institution. Hopefully, it will make a comeback.

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taza sign 2

Robert Sietsema

vacate order

Robert Sietsema

La Taza De Oro

96 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011 (212) 243-9946

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