The Tex-Mex restaurant Tortilla Coast on Capitol Hill, best known for its margaritas, will shut down this week despite efforts to survive the coronavirus pandemic and keep its workers employed.
The restaurant, which opened in 1988, is considered an institution in the area in part because of its proximity to the U.S. Capitol.
“It was a fun spot that I used to go to when I was a teenager here," Geoff Tracy, co-owner of Tortilla Coast, said.
Having the opportunity to buy a place like Tortilla Coast is something that he couldn’t let go, Tracy said.
Tracy blamed financial struggles for the closure. He said they are earning 10% of what they would make before the coronavirus pandemic began.
The staff has been cut. In January, the restaurant had more than 40 employees. Amid the pandemic, they reduced their staff to at the most 10 people. They increased to 15 employees once customers were allowed to dine in again.
Customers have been stopping by the past few days to say their goodbyes and dine in one last time. The outpouring of love made the owners push back the closing date to July 26.
The owners said they hope customers keep pouring in and they can stay open. But if they do close, they said they will look for another location.