Bäco Mercat has permanently shuttered in DTLA, Chef and Owner Josef Centeno Saturday announced on Instagram. Centeno’s sister eatery Orsa & Winston, which sits nearby, had just days before been named by the Los Angeles Times as Restaurant of the Year.
“I’m not one for dwelling too much on anything,” Centeno said in the social media post. “I know that there is always a beginning, a middle and an end. But I wanted to acknowledge, say thank you and goodbye to a piece of work that has taught and given me more than I could have ever imagined.”
As with a growing list of the city’s brick-and-mortar businesses, Centeno attributes the decision to shutter Bäco Mercat permanently to the financial hardships brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“…The world changed, and I have to make decisions about how to move forward and though the choices are difficult it is all part of the process,” Centeno wrote. “I want to thank [Betty Hallock] for all the support through these years and for writing the Bäco cookbook—and [Bear and Winston]—I know it has not been easy. To [Genevieve Hardison] for helping me run these restaurants and keeping them together even through times when all we had was duct tape and some Elmer’s glue. To all the team members that stayed until the end and those who have come and gone, thank you for being a part of the experience. And to all our incredible patrons, thank you for supporting us all these years. It has been an honor to serve you!”
Bäco Mercat has been a staple of Main Street since first debuting in November 2011. Centeno continues to operate Amacita, Bar Ama, Orsa & Winston.
Another nearby DTLA dining staple—Terroni—could also be closing. The restaurant is seemingly fighting to stay open and is in negotiations with its landlord to do so. Plan Check, which shuttered its DTLA doors last month, this week was listed for lease which includes a $500K ask in “key money.”