Llamita — the casual West Village offshoot of the acclaimed Williamsburg Peruvian restaurant Llama Inn — will close after service this Friday following more than a year of business at 80 Carmine Street, at Varick Street.
Restaurateur Juan Correa and chef Erik Ramirez, who together run restaurants like hit Peruvian-Japanese Llama San, have decided to refocus their efforts on running Llama San and Llama Inn, Correa says. They may also potentially open restaurants in other cities and reuse the Llamita name elsewhere.
“It ultimately became hard to justify our investment of time and effort into Llamita,” Correa writes in an email to Eater. The company will try to relocate most of the Llamita’s staff to the company’s other two restaurants following the closure.
This marks the first closing for Correa and Ramirez, who opened Llama Inn in Williamsburg, in 2015 and have quickly skyrocketed to prominence in the culinary scene. Both have been heralded for expanding the definition of Peruvian food in NYC and have earned plenty of accolades at both their Williamsburg restaurant and Greenwich Village’s Llama San, which opened last year and is one of the hottest reservations in town right now.
Llamita came to fruition in between those two ventures, starting off primarily as a counter-service sandwich restaurant when it opened in July 2018. Its hearty sandwiches got some good buzz and reviews, but in May 2019, the restaurant revamped, adding tables and full-service dining in the evening to feature more small plates.
But all’s not lost for Llamita fans: Correa hasn’t ruled out the possibility of re-opening something similar to Llamita in the future.