Capitol Hill’s Tortilla Coast faces uncertain future

D.C.’s Tortilla Coast looks likely to close after 32 years. (Courtesy Google Maps)

Tortilla Coast, the Tex-Mex restaurant popular with Capitol Hill staffers, interns and politicians, faces a possible closure.

A potential closing date has been extended to July 26, at least while lease talks continue.

The owner cites lease negotiations.

It could end a 32-year run for the restaurant, at 400 First St. SE, just blocks from both the U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress and the Rayburn House and Cannon House office buildings, adjacent to the Capitol South Metro station.

Tortilla Coast’s 15th and P location closed in 2017, six years after the Logan Circle outpost opened.

The possible Capitol Hill closure could come two years after the restaurants’ owner, Clover Restaurant Group, merged with Chef Geoff’s Restaurant Group, forming Chef Geoff’s Deluxe Hospitality.

Cafe Deluxe locations in Tysons, Virginia, and Bethesda, Maryland, both closed in March, victims of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Cafe Deluxe location in D.C.’s Cathedral Heights closed in 2019.

The Cafe Deluxe at 2201 M St. NW remains open and was rebranded as Chef’ Geoff’s West End shortly after reopening as a pop-up location with takeout and delivery when the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed restaurants to on-site dining.

Tracy’s restaurant Lia in Chevy Chase and his Chef Geoff’s restaurant on New Mexico Avenue NW in D.C. remain open.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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