Another week. Another restaurant unexpectedly closes on Washington. This time it's Southwestern restaurant TQLA, which ends an almost-four year run with the de rigeur sign taped to the window and Facebook and Twitter accounts that have vanished.
While staples like Benjy's and El Tiempo remain popular, it's unclear what Washington's transition from its party days to whatever it's becoming means for the restaurants in the area.
When it opened in 2010, TQLA offered diners a menu of Southwestern fare that provided an alternative to area Tex-Mex options like Cyclone Anaya's and El Tiempo. With over 150 varieties of tequila, the restaurant set a trend of appreciation for the spirit that's been followed by places like El Big Bad/El Gran Malo, Pico's and others. Even after founding chef Tommy Birdwell left in 2012, it remained well-regarded, at least according to its generally positive Yelp reviews.
Still, it joins Coppa Ristorante and Polovina as recent closings in the area. While staples like Benjy's and El Tiempo remain popular, it's unclear what Washington's transition from its party days to whatever it's becoming means for the restaurants in the area.
Attempts to contact TQLA were unsuccessful. A real estate agent who's listed on a sign promoting the availability of the neighboring space that formerly housed 360 Sports Lounge confirmed that TQLA has closed permanently but declined to comment on any reasons for its departure.
TQLA's Phoenix location remains open.