Celebrity Chef Temporarily Shuts Distrito in Philadelphia, PA

A world-famous chef has temporarily closed an upscale casual Mexican restaurant in Philadelphia, but plans for it to reopen seem a little murky.

Our culinary travels take us to the University City section of town, specifically 40th and Chestnut, not too far from the University of Pennsylvania, where chef Jose Garces has shut down Distrito for at least the next few weeks.

According to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page,

Distrito is closing for the summer and will return in the fall. We’ll see you in the new school year!

However, a report published in The Philadelphia Investigator doesn’t sound so optimistic.

Distrito in University City, Philadelphia PA – Photo: Google Maps

Distrito in University City, Philadelphia PA – Photo: Google Maps

Garces told writer Michael Kline that the restaurant “just couldn’t support itself” between students not being on campus during the summer and rising food prices.

The inspector the report says Garces hopes to reopen at the end of August but,

We are definitely reassessing the business and taking this time to ensure we have a solid business plan for the future.

Like many other businesses, Garces cites many challenges in running a restaurant, including fewer people coming into town, a lack of employees, and supply chain issues.

popular place

Distrito enjoyed mostly favorable reviews online. In reality, Money Inc. recently appointed the restaurant one of the top 10 Mexican food restaurants in town. They said,

For casual street food full of flavor, head to the taqueria at street level. Head upstairs to enjoy small plates of contemporary Mexican cuisine in the colorful and eclectic style main dining room. If tacos are your scene, stop by to take advantage of specials on tacos, super nachos and margarita pitchers on Taco Tuesday.

official word

With what has been said in The inspector leading item, the restaurant’s website reads,

We want Distrito to be open. We want our staff to be employed. But our desire to stay open doesn’t make it that way. And like many other great venues in the city, Distrito will temporarily close in hopes of reopening soon.

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