York restaurant closes down – to make way for flats

One of a kind… Fiesta Latina on Clifford Street. Photograph: YorkMix

York’s only independent Tex-Mex restaurant has closed its doors.

Fiesta Latina on Clifford Street shut down on Saturday after searching in vain for a suitable new venue to move into.

Owner Fabrice Villoutreix, who has been running the eaterie for more than three years, said he has hopes to reopen a restaurant in the city in the future.

Fabrice said regular customers were sad to hear about the closure and added: “We had customers coming in three times last week for their last burritos.

“It’s the only proper Tex-Mex in York.”

Beautiful artwork

The beautiful mural
“The shame is the mural, it was painted by one of the waitresses a couple of years ago and took about 150 hours,” Fabrice said, adding:

  • The rest we can move, but leaving the mural behind is the only shame.

    All the Americans who come to York book in here because they are used to Mexican food.

    It’s a relaxed and friendly place and people like that.

He said the restaurant, with its brightly decorated interior and Latin American music, had been extremely busy.

Fabrice added that he will spend time visiting family before continuing his search for a new venue: “We have been trying to move out but haven’t found anywhere yet.

“We are still looking for a place but for now we are closing. It might be something different from a Mexican.”

Coverted into flats

A typical Fiesta Latina dish. Photograph: Facebook
News of the closure drew a dismayed response on Facebook.

Typical of the reactions was this from Laura Chiocci-Griffiths:

  • Hope you do reopen again at some point, whether it’s where you are now or somewhere new.

    Me and my husband absolutely love your food.

The owners of the building have already secured planning permission to convert the basement and ground floor into offices, with the upper floors set to become 10 flats.

Planning documents say: “Built around 1890, 14 Clifford Street was part of the regeneration of this area of York. Clifford Street is a Victorian set-piece of civic architecture; buildings include the Magistrates’ Court, fire station, police station and technical institute.

“All the buildings display various interpretations of Gothic or Tudor style.”