Lola Tapas Set to Close This Weekend

A wonderful little restaurant is about to close its doors this weekend. For me, it's the loss of a personal favorite where I've sent countless friends to dine and have enjoyed many plates of tortilla de patatas and glasses of delicious sangria.

After dinner-only service from 5 to 10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, Lola Tapas will close its doors.

Chef Eric Gitenstein tells me he just found out about owner Felicia Ruiz's decision -- but he doesn't seem very surprised.

"Slowly, sales have dropped over time. We tried lunch, but people would always go to Culver's to get a burger instead of coming here," he says. "We were busy on the weekends, but the weekends alone can't support a restaurant."

This was Lola's fifth year in business. Ruiz opened the business back in 2005 with her now-ex-husband, Daniel Wayne, who owns Lola Coffee.

Gitenstein says he's not sure what he's going to do next, although he's still hoping to host his MF Tasty secret supper club again, in the fall.

"We want to go out with dignity," he says. 

On that note, he passed along a statement that he wants to share with Chow Bella readers:

We used to live in a world where 'word of mouth' could sustain a restaurant. Although small, Lola was very fortunate to succeed as long as we did by this ideal. Now our world is different. Our merit cannot compete with larger restaurants, promoted by pr firms that constantly remind you of their presence. This, more than ever is an era where saying 'I've been meaning to go there' is not enough. Intent does not save local businesses, action does. If you find a local gem, support it by being a patron, otherwise we will be just a city of chains and mediocre food.

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i loved lolas and am so sad to hear this. this was a wonderful place where we brought many out of town friends. regardless of what some say, it was not was great. i hope the the owner can find a way to reopen some day. phoenix lost a great place.


I really wanted to try this place but it was closed by the time a friend and I made the plans. Most times I drove by though it looked closed. Its sad they didn't make it, but marketing is vital for any business (and it doesn't always have to cost a lot). They could have benefited from using social media and having better signage at the location.

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