The 10 o’clock seating last night at Zarela was the restaurant’s last, after 23 years in business. The restaurant, run by chef Zarela Martinez, was one of the first eateries in the city to explore traditional Mexican food. But the $27,000 in rent proved too high for the restaurateur, who was forced to shutter. But despair not — there may be a Zarela 2.0.
Martinez tells the New York Daily News that she’s currently scouting a restaurant space in the East 20s and may reopen in three to four months’ time. According to Zarela’s website, Martinez will continue with her catering business and will be teaching courses on Mexican cuisine and culture, including one during the IACP Regional conference this coming weekend and another on April 11 at the Culinary Loft. So while Zarela may be gone for now, its spirit remains.