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Julian Medina Plots UWS Restaurant Months After Misconduct Scandal

The man behind Tacuba is expanding his Latin American restaurant empire with Damiana

Julian Medina Julian Medina/Official

Chef Julian Medina is set to grow his mini-Latin American cuisine domain once again in the coming months with a new Upper West Side restaurant.

Per the West Side Rag, Medina is planning to open a restaurant named Damiana on Amsterdam Avenue and W 67th, in a 65-seat space previously occupied by Chinese restaurant Wok City. The restaurant’s liquor license is still in the deliberation process — Medina and team still need to address an upstairs neighbor’s concerns about noise from the restaurant before it moves ahead.

While a representative for Medina said that the chef wasn’t ready to release details, the community publication reports that the restaurant will do Baja California-style seafood dishes and will offer a hefty range of tequilas and mezcals.

The likely new opening marks a relatively rapid comeback for Medina following a sexual misconduct scandal in August 2017. A bartender at the chef’s restaurant Toloache accused Medina of sexual harassment, including allegations that Medina filmed the bartender without her knowledge as she performed oral sex. Medina denied the claims, and shortly after, the suit died out of court due to a voluntarily dismissal with prejudice; typically, such dismissals mean an out-of-court settlement has been reached.

Damiana will be Medina’s ninth restaurant in New York and his eighth in Manhattan — all of which (except 24-hour spot Coppelia) have expanded to multiple locations in the city. He also owns popular neighborhood restaurants like Tacuba.


153 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023