Last week Seven Days reported that Tortilla Flat had closed, but the doors are open again. Did the paper get misinformation from an employee?
Bartender Michael Harr confirms that the restaurant was closed on a day when it normally wouldn't have been, and that "closing indefinitely was discussed and discarded quickly." The cause of the brief shut-down was, according to Harr, a "temporary staff shortage."
What's going on at the local Tex-Mex watering hole? Construction on Riverside Avenue took a bite out of its business. Before it started, "the place did so well," says manager Nancy Breiner. But "during the construction, nobody wanted to drive down Riverside - people were getting flat tires."
The restaurant closed for a while during the roadwork, but the project lasted much longer than expected, into the lucrative summer and fall. By the time the road was widened and the crews had gone home, it was already winter - the notorious post-holiday slow season.
"We're just a small, family restaurant," says Breiner, and the owner is "trying to come back and keep his employees happy." While the new pavement and additional lights on Riverside have improved traffic flow, the customer count is still lagging. "It's sad that construction can do that," says Breiner. For now, the restaurant will remain closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Call 864-4874 for more info, and don't jump to conclusions if no one picks up. Tortilla doesn't have an answering machine, and, if the owner is dealing with a take-out order, he might not hear the phone.