Tortilla Coast, the Tex-Mex institution, is closing for good after three decades on Capitol Hill, owner (through his restaurant group) Geoff Tracy confirmed to me today. The last day the spot will be open to the public is tomorrow, Saturday, December 18th (per another source), but Tracy tells me that they will be open to host private events until mid-to-late February. The staff, who was reportedly notified of the closure on Tuesday, will be moving to either one of the Cheff Geoff’s restaurants or Lia’s in Bethesda.
The spot opened originally in the current Union Pub space in 1988 and then in its current location in April 1996.
This isn’t the first time during the pandemic that it was reported that the spot was closing-in July 2020, Union Pub actually broke the news that they were closing, but due to the strong support and “a margarita miracle” Tracy decided to try to keep it open as long it could (with the help of a PPP loan), despite the whopping $36,000/month rent (including common area maintenance and landlord’s real estate tax). It lasted almost another 18 months, though January 6th led to even more woes, and as of September 2021, business was still down 75%. In fact, the spot only kept open because the restaurant group was a lucky recipient of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund lottery ($8.2 million). But alas, this was not enough.