After 14 Years, Distrito in University City Closes Its Doors Citing High Food Costs and Less Traffic in the Area
A University Staple is now no more. Chef Jose Garces’ Distrito (3945 Chestnut St.) has officially closed its doors. Distrito which opened in 2008, brought more of an elevated Mexican food experience then your typical neighborhood spot. Known for its atmosphere and decor including its famed wall of luchador marks, Distrito quickly become a go-to spot in University dining.
“Just couldn’t support itself financially,” Garces told he Philadelphia Inquirer. Citing the decrease in traffic as well as rising food costs, keeping Distrito open was just not feasible to the acclaimed chef.
“We’re definitely reevaluating the business and taking this time to ensure that we have a solid business plan going forward,” Garces added. Distrito will however still honor special events and catering obligations.
To address job concerns by his staff, Garces did announce he will be hosting a job fair at Olde Bar in Old City, which he also owns. Garces adds that he would guarantee jobs at his other restaurants for his newly displaced employees. Aside from Olde Bar, Garces also owns Amada, Village Whiskey, Hook & Master, as well as Buena Onda in Radnor
“As a group, we’re always assessing our concepts and business ventures to understand and adapt according to what we’re experiencing and what we anticipate in the future. I imagine other restaurateurs will find themselves in a similar spot and we’ll continue to see similar activity and change across the market,” Garces told the Inquirer.