La Verdad Closes; Ken Oringer: ‘Nice Run, Time to Concentrate [on] Other Projects.’
Earlier this afternoon, we learned via Boston Restaurant Talk that La Verdad, chef Ken Oringer’s Fenway taqueria, closed its doors for good. We reached out to Oringer for comment, who sent the below press release, adding: “Pretty simple: nice run, time to concentrate [on] other projects. Sold to a friend to do another project.” As to what that future “project” in the La Verdad space may be (or who this friend is, for that matter), he’s mum for now. Another Oringer-affiliated restaurant, KO Prime at the Nine Zero Hotel, closed in 2012 (Oringer had parted ways with the restaurant as a partner shortly before this).
If Oringer couldn’t fully devote time and energy to La Verdad, it was smart of him to say goodbye—particularly because Toro NYC has been such a success. (Just take a look at the Times’s more-recent zero-star review this week of The Bistro at Villard Michel Richard for a cautionary tale of what can happen when a big-name chef is overextended.)
It’s also worth noting that La Verdad is the third Mexican restaurant in a small radius to close in the past week or so, with Mission Cantina on Beacon Street and Barrio Cantina, Michael Schlow’s hasty re-boot of Happy’s in Fenway, both closing as well.
The full press release, below:
The ownership group of Fenway taqueria La Verdad today announced that the restaurant has closed. After a successful six year run, numerous awards and thousands of tacos served, partners Mike Ginor, Ed Sparks, Patrick Lyons and Ken Oringer will be spending their time focused on other culinary interests.
“2013 was a good year for our restaurant division,” said Patrick Lyons. “The majority of our Boston-based establishments did a brisk business and we introduced some great talent to our team, including the appointment of Chef Mark Allen at Towne stove + spirits. The New Year is a natural time for us to evaluate our offerings and we determined it was the right time to close La Verdad.”
Oringer’s most recent project has been opening the second location of his Barcelona-style tapas bar, Toro, in Manhattan. On New Year’s Eve day, The New York Times offered a glowing review stating, “how can a place this big have food this good?”
“With our warm reception in NYC, we realized the time had come to pull back on certain projects,” said Ken Oringer. “As I continue to focus on my flagship restaurant Clio, sashimi bar Uni, Coppa, the original Toro, earth at Kennebunkport’s luxury resort Hidden Pond, as well as my new NYC location, the time was right to say goodbye to La Verdad. It’s been a great run with an incredible group of partners!”