Sunday, Oct. 30 will be the last day of service for La Casa de tu Madre, the Day-of-the Dead-themed taco and tequila bar at the corner of Eighth and Fitzwater in Bella Vista.
“It was ok, but not doing well enough to sign another five-year lease,” says proprietor Jason Evenchik, who also owns Heritage, Vintage, Garage, Bar, Time and Tiki. (And no, La Casa’s closure doesn’t bode well for him ever opening another restaurant with a name longer than one word.)
Evenchik opened La Casa in late 2015 as a retooling of his previous concept for the corner space, beer-focused Growlers, which opened in 2012 and lasted just under three years.
The immediate neighborhood is not an easy place to run a restaurant. Just around the corner, Montreal-inspired Coeur closed last month after just a year in business at 824 S. Eighth St. around the corner, following the nearly-as-quick closing of previous occupant the Mildred. Before that, the dining room saw success as chef-driven James, but owners Jim and Kristina Burke also opted not to renew a lease past the initial five years.
What’s the issue? In addition to being just far enough off the beaten paths of South Street and the Italian Market, the area has “no parking, plus the demographic is a little older and doesn’t go out all the time,” says Evenchik. “It was a combination of things” that led to La Casa’s shutter.
The location, 800 Fitzwater St., has a long bar at front, a full dining room with fireplace in the back, and a full working kitchen. It’s up for rent, if you know anyone looking to jump into a turnkey restaurant. The liquor license is held by the building owner, Jerry D’Addesi (who once ran neighborhood bar Vesuvio’s in the same spot).
The staff at La Casa have all been given positions at his other venues if they wanted them, Evenchik says.