Tequilas Restaurant & Bar, known for its popular Mexican cuisine, closes after fire
A fire in the kitchen has forced the upscale Mexican restaurant to close indefinitely.
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The Tequilas Restaurant & Bar, which has served as a place for the Latine community to meet in Center City for over 3 decades, has closed indefinitely following a fire. The fire occurred during dinner service on Thursday, Feb. 9, in the kitchen.
The fire department arrived on scene around 5:20 p.m. and declared the fire under control at 7:39 p.m. It was initially declared under control around 5:40 p.m., but more fire was discovered in the first-and second-floor ceilings.
Smoke could be seen around the entrance while firefighters worked to put out the flames.
The restaurant has been at this Rittenhouse Square location since 2001.
It was founded in 1986 after David Suro bought out the owner of Metate, the Mexican restaurant he worked at, and renamed it Tequila. At the time, the restaurant was located at 1511 Locust Street.
The interior of the restaurant was redone two years ago, after over 30 years in business.
The restaurant announced its closing in an Instagram post that also thanked the first responders and staff, as well as customers who reached out.
The post continued, “The unknown is scary. We do not know answers, we do not know when we will be back open. We do know the strength we carry within us and we will be okay. Please keep our family and business in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
No injuries were reported and a cause has not been determined.
In addition to serving the Latine community in Philadelphia, Suro has also served the community outside of Philadelphia by creating the Siembra Suro Foundation. The foundation helps agave harvesters in rural Mexico get clean drinking water, solar panels for electricity, and expand their schools.
In reaction to the fire, a GoFundMe page has been set up to get donations for the employees who rely on tips and won’t be making any as the restaurant is rebuilt.
“Our incredible & dedicated employees do not deserve what just happened and all of our lives have changed in the moment. Let’s stick together and come out strong by donating to our tipped staff members (servers, bartenders, barbacks, hosts, busers). Anything will help no matter how big or small. Thank you in advance and remember we will be back (and we cannot wait until that day…),” wrote Elisa Suro, who set up the page.
So far, the fundraiser has over $8,000 raised of a $100,000 goal.
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