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Tortilla Coast abruptly closes prime Logan Circle Location

by Prince Of Petworth June 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm 101 Comments


via Tortilla Coast’s Facebook

A reader reports:

“Tortilla Coast abruptly closed for good today. I had a private party booked there for tonight and they called us this morning saying they have shut down this location as of today. No reason why.”

Tortilla Coast opened their Logan Circle location back in 2012. Updates when we learn who takes over the prime space.

  • ST21

    Please be a sports bar, please be a sports bar. I love the layout in there and it’s such a prime location- never went to Tortilla Coast but I always assumed it was basically Austin Grill with a different name.. Aka extremely mediocre tex-mex.

    • Anonymous

      Stoney’s is a sports bar and is on the same strip, so I doubt that another sports bar will move in. This is likely to be torn down and turned into a multi-story building with non-sports bar commercial space downstairs.

      • eb

        Plus Drafting Table around the corner. That said, Stoney’s and Drafting Table are basically my 2 fav. places on the 14th street strip so I dont mind a good sports bar.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately it’s because they sucked. You can ALWAYS judge a mexican restaurant by their chips and salsa……

    • MadMax

      Sure, you can, but that doesn’t mean it’s an accurate reflection of the rest of the food.

      • Marcus

        The rest of the food sucked…

      • Arouet

        Okay but sometimes it is. Here for instance. Both sucked.

    • Obvious

      nope, it’s fortunate.

  • JHC_DC

    Never understood Tortilla Coast there–I always thought that was a prime space wasted on terrible (even by DC Mexican standards) food. Hopefully something fun will replace it.

  • anon

    This is super weird – they are always packed when we walk by. Must be more to the story. I wasn’t overly impressed with the food but will miss the chocolate tamal, though!

    • B

      Um, are you kidding me? “Super packed”? The place started off with a horrendous reputation, never recovered, and was never crowded.. For a place in that location, an outdoor area never should have had empty seats – and it was never filled. The inside, too, rarely had more than 10% full – all while other Logan restaurants were packed. In simple terms, the service was beyond bad, the food was not good, and they made weak, overpriced drinks. I live a block away, and am thrilled we may now get something decent here.

      • [rrrrr]

        Plus it closed weirdly early. We tried to have an election watch there, because the bar usually had space and the specials were good, but they closed at 10. Now with some foresight that would have been early enough but still………

    • minimalist

      I live two blocks away and never saw this place anywhere close to packed, a least by Logan standards. Also, their food was terrible.

    • Spock McGillicuddy

      Used to walk by there every weekend. Never packed.

  • MagGal

    Seriously, hated the food, hated the service. Great location wasted. Shame for the folks working there that need to pay bills, though. Hopefully Tortilla Coast gives them some sort of compensation due to the short notice!

  • Anonymous

    Dacha outpost!!!!! Pretty please.. Perfect wall space for a mural.

  • LCinDC

    I once spent 45 minutes (not an exaggeration) trying to get my bill so I could leave. It was the weirdest thing. I just kept asking and it kept not appearing…lost track of time between each ask as I was talking to a friend. Eventually had to get up and find the manager so I wouldn’t just walk out.

    • FridayGirl

      Ugh. This reminds me why I used to be better about carrying cash. If I had adequate cash to cover my estimate of the bill I would have just left it and left….. 45 minutes for a bill is completely unacceptable.

  • Hopefully it’ll be another real estate office or bank (preferably BofA)!

    • tom

      I’m hoping for a verizon store.

      • dcd

        That strip cries out for a mattress store.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I was hoping for an Auto Zone. Get in the zone! Auto Zone!

          • Bort

            SHOE CITY

          • Mleavitt

            Bring back the paint store!

          • Vered

            If that’s what you want come to Brightwood Park. We’ve got it all. Well, not a Verizon store but plenty of Mobile PCS, Boost, Cricket, etc., on every other block. Don’t forget the carwashes, small used car lots, and convenience stores where the clerks sit behind plexiglass. Lots of illegal car-repair operations in the alleys, too, just what you need in Logan.

          • Clearly this space cries for a 7/11, as there is not one within 100 ft.

          • Swaz

            DTLR! That is what Logan Circle needs, DTLR!

    • Truxton Thomas

      Would two Lululemons on one block be too many?

      • Ross

        One is too many, so to answer your question: yes.

        • textdoc

          +1.

      • Arouet

        Didn’t that one close?

        • jkdc

          yes – it moved to 14th between T and U

    • Bobert

      What about a wholesome dildo joint?

      • Toonces

        Yes. And that should be its name, too.

    • ExWalbridgeGuy

      there’s no laser tag in this neighborhood currently

    • Mug of Glop

      There’s been a Ruby Tuesday desert in Northwest for a couple years. Just sayin’…

    • FridayGirl

      Taco Bell? Can we get a taco bell there?!

  • Mug of Glop

    I’m guessing it’ll be another ramen shop going in there. I would not be disappointed with that.

  • MaryQueen

    This was the only place that had decent white queso!! Also had a great HH, very sad.

    • Nathan

      Los Cuates in Adams Morgan has great white queso! I was so happy when I found it!

      • Beth

        +1

  • Chris K

    It’s going to be one of DC’s first Wawas!

    • eb

      OMG that would make me the happiest ever.

  • Loganite

    For those that are saying it’s a prime space wasted….did you live in DC when this building was a paint store? Yes buckets of paint. Sidewalk parking. No outdoor patio. No glass doors that open wide. From what I’ve heard, the back of the house is badly laid out with much of the storage in the basement, making it challenging. I can only imagine at the 5 year mark, the lease amount was raised. :(

    • CVR

      I remember that. With the other paint store across the street. I always thought it was weird since there’s that other one up 14th.

      • Wane

        The “other one on 14th” is where the paint store on the north side of P st moved to. I think I remember reading the developer of the block (P st) built it for them as part of the deal.

        • CVR

          Both were Sherwin Williams yes but two separate locations that operated at the same if I recall correctly.

          • Vered

            No it was a Duron paint store at 15th and P on the north side. I used to really like Duron paint, which was locally manufactured and was suited to our local climate. But then Duron was bought out by Sherwin Williams, which was across the street. I didn’t track it but it’s possible they put up the Sherwin Williams sign for awhile at the old Duron place. I didn’t care for Sherwin Williams very much at that long-ago time, but I think they have improved in recent years.

            Back then the Whole Foods was nowhere in sight. Its move into that area was the turning point for it.

    • jumpingjack

      I remember when it was a paint store. I lived a couple blocks west of there in 2004, and I’d walk past it on the way to the (then new-ish) Whole Foods. I don’t walk down that block that often now, and I’ve never eaten there, so I’m still sometimes surprised that it’s a restaurant.

    • MadMax

      Yep, I lived in Logan in the paint store days, always went to Ace instead though. I was at this place on the day it opened, really surprised it lasted this long, although DC residents aren’t known for their expertise in Mexican cuisine so they basically just had to exist to make profit.

      • jaybird

        or not.

        • MadMax

          If landlords increase your rents to rates above what makes sense from a business perspective, then sure, that wouldn’t apply. But just look around the city, it’s rare that you see Mexican-lite places actually closing, despite people’s constant complaints about how not-good they are.

    • Truxton Thomas

      Yeah, and their hours were terrible for non-contractors, if I remember correctly. Bankers’ hours.

    • Obvious

      yep. lived here 40 years. so you probably don’t know.

      also. 10 year leases are the norm

  • Moose

    Service was consistently terrible and the food was not that great. I did like their happy hour but was always frustrated. One time it was available on the patio and other it was bar area only. Make up your mind! There was one good server there, but I think he’s since left. Never sure why the service there was never up to par. After a particularly bad service experience, I’ve never gone back. Hopefully a nice restaurant with a good happy hour moves in.

  • Anon

    Rent was raised, sucks for the people who worked there. I’m sure the owners knew beforehand.

    • MadMax

      They almost certainly knew beforehand. Restaurants rarely tell their staff before shuttering to avoid employee theft.

      • MarkQ

        What is the supposed correlation between knowing of a closing and the increased incentive to steal from your employer?

      • anyoneofus

        They usually do not disclose shutdown because of fear that their staff would get other jobs and leave prior to last day. since there is no severance. Not theft.

  • facts

    I’m in the minority thinking that this place had pretty solid food. I suspect the problem was their low happy hour prices – it was packed but it was comically cheap.

  • admohud

    A friend of mine works at this location and suspects they closed because the rent was raised and it no long made financial sense to stay in the building. People abruptly lost their jobs today, so complaining about the food quality seems a little misguided.

    • Anonymous

      Dude- not sure what’s going on-but you’ve displayed a level of rudeness in a lot of your comments lately. Hope all is well– and this phase will past. It’s not typical of you.

      • MadMax

        I wouldn’t waste any effort worrying about me, but thanks.

    • Chase

      Didn’t you get kicked off yelp because of your trolling? Wish popville did the same…

      • Ross

        He’s been removed from more than one place for his boorish personality.

        • chase

          a sad and lonely life….

      • dc arch

        +1

        it’s clear no effort has been wasted.

  • texmexster

    Some of the most godawful tex-mex around. I was praying for this place to shut down! Sad for the staff though. But still, terrible food.

  • TCoast Lover 4life

    RIP T-Coast
    please come back.
    one of my favorite happy hours, 7 days a week
    free chips & salsa
    very nice, accommodating bartenders
    and frozen margaritas that perfectly cooled us down after sweaty bike trips
    RIP T-Coast

  • Ben

    I don’t want to be mean — as people lost their jobs today. But good ridicance. How can a tex-mex place in such a prime location serve absolutely abysmal food?

  • Mike

    I was a big fan of the free chips and salsa and the happy hour in general. I had intended to check out their trivia night but never got around to it. I also hadn’t had an actual entree from them in ages, so can’t comment on that. I will say the last time I went i was annoyed that my server was standing around chatting up a coworker for around 15 minutes while my glass was bone dry.

  • anon

    Alero next please?

    • ExWalbridgeGuy

      get outta here — Alero is great and isn’t hurting you

      • dcd

        You are half right.

    • ustreetmayor

      you gotta be kidding, right???

    • J-lu

      Seriously, anon, you’re so right. It’s so sad that it’s always so busy. You can do better DC.

  • Denny Lyon

    Landlords generally try to hold up, as in thievery, restaurant tenants at the 5 and 10 year mark to the point that it makes no sense to carry on. Happens a lot. TenPenh, DC Coast, Ceiba, etc.

    • dcd

      Hmm – you wouldn’t by chance be connected with Passion Food Hospitality, would you?

      • Denny Lyon

        Was…

  • Near Northeast

    It was more useful as a paint store. I got some great paint there, back in the day.

  • Rich

    Good riddance. They did a decent business most of the time, but the food was awful as was the service. This strip has mediocre overpriced restaurants–some decent ethnic food would liven up the area. I doubt that the church on the other corner would make this a prime spot for Dacha.

  • Neal Becton

    Good riddance. Bad food and worse service.

  • Wednesday Addams-Morgan

    Whoa, that was sudden! I also saw this place constantly packed, especially for the evening painting classes. I liked their guac. Hope something decent comes into the space.

    • Obvious

      sudden?!!!

  • best

    the owners never knew anything about the food or drink business. the sullivans (the dad was w/ marriot/ritz) opened tynan coffee, bought tortilla coast (on the hill), opened the new one, then bought cafe deluxe. all suck

    • Rich

      Good to know. Never cared for Cafe Deluxe.

  • Cornjah

    Why did this happen? Make them return for us we need them and we need them every FRIDAY!!!! Help us now, Tell them!!!

  • ustreetmayor

    I ate there twice….the last time about 5 years ago. The food and especially the service both times were horrible!!!

  • QStreeter

    I live ~3 minutes from this place. The last (and literally, last) time I ate here, my “chicken” fajitas had the consistency of chewing gum and the waitress, after recommending the dish, acted surprised and annoyed that I didn’t want to pay for the inedible shit on my plate.

    Good riddance, T Coast. I hope something MUCH better comes along in your place.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sorry, but you were given food, ate it, and then didn’t want to pay?! Of course she acted surprised. That’s just bad etiquette.

      But that being said, I agree about the food. A pity their food never measured up to their good, cheap drinks

      • prgkmr

        he said it was a “plate of inedible shit”, so my guess is he didn’t actually eat much of it…

    • Anons

      Sounds like s/he tried the dish recommended by the waitress, dish was terrible, they didn’t want to pay for terrible food. Totally reasonable

  • dcred

    I’m guessing an indoor biergarten for when everyone gets displaced from dacha in the winter

  • Lisa

    Two words: Stephen Starr

    Just wait…

  • Rach

    I think Capitol Hill location is pretty good so I could never understand why this location was so terrible- agree with everyone else that the service was horrendous. I’m hoping for anything but another tapas place!!

  • TacoPants

    This place was an insult to mediocrity. Good riddance. Sorry for the employees though…

  • anon

    Obviously not enough House Freedom Caucus members in Logan Circle to keep this place open

  • No tears from me. The food sucked. The service sucked.

    Make this one of the Wawas coming to town. Failing that, I’m sure Logan needs a Comfort One…schlepping over here to Dupont for shoes is just such an ordeal.

    • Amy

      Please explain to me everyone’s infatuation with eating at a gas station…

      • Rich

        Not all of them (Wawa) are gas stations. Good cheap sandwiches–maybe that’s too prole for you but it’s gap here and in a lot of places.

  • LosLobos

    It really never recovered from the time Ted Cruz used it as his basecamp for planning the government’s shutdown a couple of years ago…

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