Oaxaca Restaurant and Cantina Closed: Rumored to Reopen Under New Ownership Next Week

Categories: News
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Commotion of a "losing a Phoenix landmark" kind happened today at Oaxaca Restaurant and Cantina, the downtown Phoenix Mexican eatery near the state Capitol.

Police were on site as items were being moved out of the restaurant -- this after a sign was placed on the door that stated "closed for plumbing repairs" -- but a man apparently in charge of the goings-on, who did not want to be identified, tells me the seemingly chaotic scene was planned beforehand.

It seems Oaxaca is changing hands. And though the previous owners, who've managed Oaxaca for years, "aren't happy about it," he says, they're working with the new owners to ensure the transition goes smoothly. The unidentified source tells me the previous owners put the fake plumbing sign on the door last night when the process started, and the police were on hand today to ensure there weren't any problems.

The unidentified source went on to say Oaxaca will re-open next week under new ownership and will keep the name along with the menu, recipes, and any staff who wish to stay on.

Details to come.

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Location Info

Oaxaca Restaurant and Cantina - CLOSED

1516 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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24 comments
CJANGO828
CJANGO828

All I can is that as I have been eating there for 40 years or since it opened.  It is a absolute landmark for State of Arizona lunch destination.  I retired but have a part time job at the State now.  I was shocked to see it closed and everyone is wondering why.  I just know that I hope the best server in Az, Jose, still has a job with the new owner.  And can I PLEASE have that secret Albondigas recipe I have been trying to get for so long???  If you have it, please write me:  CJANGO828@cox.net

pattycakes
pattycakes

Loved the food but hated the way the (family) owners acted.  All they did was walk around with their noses in the air and go sit at the bar.  Oh and the drug dealing...they made it so obvious.  As far as the way they treated their loyal employes...LOL...that's all I can say about that.  I've lived in the neighborhood for over 20 yrs, ate there often because of the food not the atmosphere and had a relative work there for a very long time who was treated badly and finally got smart and quit.  Hopefully the family will learn from these past mistakes and go on to another business venture.  See, I'm not that harsh :-)

Beatriz
Beatriz

It is a shame that people are so quick to judge.  Without knowing the specifics of this closure, It is easy to understand that mistakes were made and things didn't work out as planned, but you can be assured that the Oaxaca was built with blood, sweat, and tears and that it gave residents a wonderful place to enjoy good food and wonderful music.  Investors are now ready to profit off of the owner's ideas. There will never be another place where seniors could go to enjoy beautiful music and a good dinner and see the same familiar faces every week.  Those of you with the negativity don't have a clue.

BC

Anthony P Hall Bonanno
Anthony P Hall Bonanno

Good I am glad they lost it...I know one employee there that was a druggie and maybe a dealer and he know's who he is...I hope he got busted...I saw him myself make several drug transactions.... Be great to see new owners that will take care of the customers the right way...

luckystar712
luckystar712

This closing makes me very sad. Oaxaca, a long time Phoenix business was a good restaurant and cantina. Oaxaca was a great place to go eat lunch or dinner and always hopping on saturday night when there was something different going on in each room. It may be in the dining room with the three piece band to the night club with bands or DJ's to keep the crowds dancing and having a good time. The News, newspaper and drama lovers love to make things even more difficult than they are. What ever might have happened I'm sure there is a reason and the truth will come out after the Verdugo's make their statement when they have things sorted out. I am speaking from first hand experience.

All of you that have lived here in Phoenix for twenty years or more, I'm sure you remember the OLD Encanto Park. The Boats and Kiddieland, well my in-laws owned the business for years. The Boathouse was started by the grandmother, my father in-law bought her out and then later my husband bought into the business. My father-in-law and a friend of his built The Encanto Queen (showboat) all by hand. To make a long story short the park was closing for remodeling and all the rides and equipment were auctioned off. A couple years later the park reopened, the boats continued on. A couple years after that the boats closed and the City of Phoenix gave the contract to someone else. In turn, leaving four generations of the family without jobs. Also, our grandchildren and great grandchildren not being able to have the experience of enjoying the family business and getting the great job foundation. As the family picked up their stuff and left, the City of Phoenix "honored" my father-in-law for 50 years of service. We asked the newspaper,  television station and radio station to listen to our story before hand. No one wanted to listen until the day of the auction and they were all there for the DRAMA.

So, don't all be so quick to judge, I'm sure you don't know the whole story or truth. Just the Drama of the closing with all sorts of stories flying all different directions. Give the Verdugos a  chance to take a deep breath and sort things out. After this is done they will surely make a statement just like they said they would.

What ever happen "Do not Judge others, Be nice to one another, Love one another, Speak kindly of each other"? You may be the next one to have something go wrong in your life and I am sure you would not like everyone judging and spreading stories about you. 

Chuk
Chuk

I'm glad to finally see this place change hands. Before they moved to this location, I loved going there, but the quality has steadily been going downhill. Hope the new owners actually do justice to the Mini Mercado Oaxaca of olde.

Krazybill
Krazybill

Oaxaca had a real problem with vermin the only time i was there; politicians lobbyists and cops everywhere you looked.

BJ
BJ

They were evicted from the property this afternoon. The guys that own the place didn't even tell the employees what was going on and how bad the situation was. The bank gave them numerous opportunities to fix it, but they ignored everything and foreclosed on then evicted. The police where called to supervise the eviction.

Oaxaca Customer
Oaxaca Customer

Oh.. interesting.   I wonder what happened.. seems like a "Hostile Take Over" to me.

Hornitoes
Hornitoes

This is a good example of how the wealthy are not there for the little guy as the Republicans claim they will be if we do not raise taxes to where they should be.  This was a family business with grandchildren working the restaurant. Llos Tres Hermanos was an extension of the family restaurant wher mother Verdugo cooked.  Unfortunately, the bankers have taken yet another small business away.

Se la vi

Meagan
Meagan

Thank you because I worked there for over 2 years and there was nothing but sexual harassment, drug dealing by family members, I saw 1 owner give marajuana to a busboy in the kitchen once and the 2 bartenders who filed sexual harassment cases were fired even though the law prohibits that. Thank God someone else has taken over now employees can work in a safe environment.

BJ
BJ

I totally agree chuck. they moved and really lost focus on good food and good times. The noise levels was crazy insane due to the design. Customer service was nil to none. And the food starting having issues. I personally think, that no was in management cared about the place any longer and just let it hit the fan. 

BJ
BJ

Hey... knowing that the cops ate at the place was good for me... at least it was safe.

oaxaca employee
oaxaca employee

bj...your information is wrong. employees have been informed of the hardship thru out this difficult time. first hand knowledge, as I am an employee and was at the meetings. better get a more reliable source.

also the source that does not want to be identified works for the lender and he was not in charge of the move. he was on site to recruit employees. he did not work with the owners for a smooth transition. how did the reporter just happen to get the lenders info. and to the reporter you can check the police call and find out it was not the lender who asked for the police to be on site as your a articles suggest.

is anyone wondering why a lender would want to run a business they are taking over and keep the name and recipes.

you people out there that have struggled with your mortgage and went to foreclosure, did your lender move into your homes when you were evicted? also has every lender out there modified every loan that is in default?

sounds like bj may work at lender, how do you know what the bank did or did not do in working with the owners.

Your pin number, por favor?
Your pin number, por favor?

Now, here's a new sign of the times; a bank-owned-and-operated restaurant. Maybe customers can now earn minuscule amounts of interest while eating, and perhaps two forms of ID will be required before ordering alcohol. I'm guessing the servers will make persistent and probing tableside surveys of their customer's circumstances. On the bright side, they'll probably accept checks.  

Reyjak17
Reyjak17

So if only Warren Buffet would've paid more taxes, then Oaxaca would have been able to pay its bills, huh?  That makes perfect sense.  What an ignorant comment.  Sounds like the nonsense being spewed by the "occupy Wall St." pinheads. 

Meagan
Meagan

I worked at Oaxaca for over 2 years the owners (Verdugo Brothers) were under 2 investigations for sexual harassment, there was drug dealing going on there, the restaurant had been caught twice in 6 months for overserving and serving minors, the owners did not care about laws because they thought they were above them this place was a nightmare and their own family members were stealing money from the restaurant Mindy Verdugo is the biggest B***H ever the restaurant is in better hands now.

Bettybcruz
Bettybcruz

Thank You for what you said!! Having worked for a family run restaurant back in the 70's I do realize the love and dedication that goes into starting the businesss. Most of the recipes come from the mom,dad,aunts,etc.most of them probably deceased by now.That is why this is so sad..How dare people make judgements now. They have no idea the hours involved  in running this kind of business!!! Having known one of the owners and his wife I do beg to differ with the comments made.No one has control over the economy and the future and shame on us for pointing fingers on anyones misfortune!!!Good Luck to you and all the others effected by this loss!!!! I have faith the Verdugo's will come out on TOP.......Betty Cruz

Hornitoes
Hornitoes

Good response and expected but the theory is if the wealthy pay more taxes then the government can pay their bills, hire more workers and they will eat at Oaxaca.  No, Warren Buffet will ever eat there but he does understand the economic engine.

Remember, some sort of sence can be made of anything if you are open to see!

Se la vi

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