Announced in October, the time has come for Midtown Portuguese restaurant Lupulo to close. Today is the more casual restaurant from Aldea chef-owner George Mendes’ last day.
Mendes pointed to “a new lease structure put in place the past year” as making “operations financially difficult,” to the point where the restaurant needs to shutter. He has been searching for a new location to potentially reopen.
Lupulo debuted in 2015 as a refuge among the middling chains near Penn Station. With a rustic and approachable take on Portuguese fare, critics quickly took notice — Eater chief critic Ryan Sutton called it “awesome” and “ambitious” in a two-star 2015 review and Times critic Pete Wells similarly gave the restaurant two stars.
Now with Lupulo closed, the Michelin-starred, more upscale Flatiron Portuguese restaurant Aldea is Mendes’ only business. There, he will still sell Lupulo’s popular Portuguese egg custard tarts.