The staff and owners of Santa Fe, located at 73 West 71st Street, recently took a vacation. A sign previously posted in their window said they would be returning on August 23, at which point they would continue serving the Upper West Side.
But a new message has recently appeared in Santa Fe’s window, on their website, and in their voicemail greeting. This message states “Santa Fe is unfortunately closed … for now. We were unable to reach an agreement regarding our rent. We hope to see you in the neighborhood some day soon. All our best – the Santa Fe team.”
Santa Fe’s customers have responded to this news by posting a petition by the door of the storefront.
The letter reads as follows:
“Santa Fe restaurant has been a dining staple in our neighborhood for years. The cuisine and the people who work in the restaurant are simply wonderful.
“As local diners and residents we would encourage you to please assist the owners of the restaurant to the best of your ability, negotiating a temporary agreement to (keep them) open. Once this nightmare is over, we are all most certain that the restaurant will be returned to its previous dining activity levels.
“An altered temporary rent reduction agreement is better than no agreement. In this regard, there is now way you could possibly rent the space while the pandemic is among us. You may be able to collect insurance payments for the vacancy, however you will most certainly lose the support of those who frequent such establishments.
“Should an agreement not be reached due to the aforementioned, and we lose this lovely restaurant, please note, the undersigned will not agree to frequent any restaurant that will in the future take its place at this location.”
The bottom of the letter includes signatures from those who have pledged to not do business with whoever takes over the space, assuming Santa Fe is unable to reopen.
We’ve contacted the landlord and will provide an update if and when he gets back to us.
The family owned and operated restaurant has been on the Upper West Side since 1982. It’s long been recognized for its superb margaritas, both on the rocks and frozen, and its Southwestern and Mexican dishes prepared by Chef José Gonzalez.
is this petition available online?
The above did not provide a space to pledge we will NOT support any business/restaurant replacing Santa Fe…and have at least 50 friends who take the same position..They have suggested a Picket Line protesting..the closure..
Please come back, Santa Fe. My hubs and I have been enjoying your restaurant for decades, even in the previous space. We love you!
Start a Go Fund Me page!
What people don’t understand is that whomever owns the space can write off the loss, which most times is greater than renting the space at a discount. I know because I lost a restaurant in ‘09. When Bush came out in the fall of ‘08 and said we were in a recession, business dropped 50% overnight, we tried to get the landlord to halve our rent for 6 months and put it on the back of the lease, they said no, the space sat empty for 3 years. As long as they are allowed to write off the loss, nothing will change. Why is there so much empty retail space, because the owners would rather write off the loss than lower the rent.
Real Estate investors like any other investor are out to maximize their returns. They are not interested in providing services to the neighborhood or being sympathetic to tenants. Interested parties need to band together and buy the building from the owner.
Say it ain’t so!!!!!!! I have been going to Santa Fe for decades, starting when I was in highschool in the 1980s! It is my and my husband’s favorite date night spot and we often go their with our kids. Santa Fe survived the move from its last location (which to be honest, I preferred). Please find a new and even better location! Hint: I used to go to the restaurant next door when it was Cafe La Fortuna (another gaping hole in my heart) and it has a wonderful outdoor dining garden!!! We love you Santa Fe!!!!! I hope that you and all of your wonderful staff are okay.
I’d love to sign that letter as a longtime patron who spammed many decades. Another exam of greed. I’d definitely boycott anything this owner tries to enlist.
Any news about Santa Fe? Loved it so much and want to go back.