Portland, Oregon — In Northeast Portland, Tapalaya issued a press release on Tuesday this week. In it, the popular Rose City restaurant informed their customers they would close their business in December this year. Tapalaya became a favorite dine-out place in Portland thanks to its Cajun and Creole dishes, influenced by the Vietnamese cuisine.
Tapalaya opened up in 2008. Nine years later, in 2017, Vietnamese Executive Chef, Anh Luu, bought the restaurant. Luu was born in New Orleans and brought to the restaurant her signature crawfish dish, which consisted of creamy grits and juicy tails in a bowl with orange sauce.
In the release, they stated that Luu, since acquiring the business, was entirely focused on managing Tapalaya, which left no space for her private affairs. Consequently, Luu said that she couldn’t devote any time to properly grieving and saying goodbye to her late mother. In efforts to commit herself to her personal life, Luu decided to sell the venture to interested parties. As a result, Tapalaya’s last open day will be December 22, when, after dinner service, Luu will close the restaurant until the change of ownership.
Open for Sale
Vacher Group, Restaurant Brokers, will be in charge of the sale of the restaurant. Luu took the press release as an opportunity to express her feelings towards Tapalaya. In her own words, she saw her acquiring Tapalaya in 2017 as a privilege, recalling the level of excitement she felt at the time. She assumed the ownership role after being an employee for eight years. Additionally, being the owner allowed the chef to work on “one-of-a-kind cuisine,” which she based on her childhood memories. That, according to Luu, meant the world to her.
However, the changes in her personal life affected her capabilities of keeping the restaurant running successfully. The chef said that her mother’s tragic loss of life made a significant emotional impact on her. Subsequently, she admitted she needed some time off to be able to grieve the loss and deal with it. Luu intends to return to her home in New Orleans.
The announcement of Tapalaya’s closure marks a tough week for Portland restaurant lovers. Namely, on the same day, Country Cat, a popular brunch place, published they would also close, only they would do it sooner — in August.