Aldea chef-owner George Mendes will shutter his more casual Portuguese restaurant Lupulo come December. Mendes tells Eater in an email that “a new lease structure put in place the past year has made operations financially difficult.”
Though the restaurant, a refuge among the middling chains near Penn Station, will close, Mendes has already started searching for a new location. In the meantime, he’ll focus his full attention on Aldea, his Michelin-starred, more upscale Portuguese restaurant in Flatiron. There, one part of Lupulo will live on through the sale of Portuguese egg custard tarts that Mendes implemented earlier this year.
Lupulo’s rustic and approachable Portuguese fare caught the attention of critics early on, with Eater chief critic Ryan Sutton calling it “awesome” and “ambitious” in a two-star 2015 review. New York Times critic Pete Wells similarly gave the restaurant two stars.
Now, Lupulo will close on December 20.