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Blaming Labor Costs And Tax Hikes, Cantina 1910 Closes

cantina1910-1It does seem appropriate to say that Cantina 1910 has had a wild ride since opening less than a year ago. The much anticipated launch of the upscale Mexican restaurant at 5025 N. Clark St. back in September 2015, transformed the old T’s bar/restaurant into a new modern space.

Though the restaurant gained quick praise from area food critics, the online community took harsh aim at Catina 1910, knocking them for their unique approach to the cuisine. That prompted the Reader’s Mike Sula to insult the entire Andersonville neighborhood while trying to give Cantina 1910 praise.

From there on, a battle seemed to brew prompting head chef Diana Davila, chef de cuisine Aaron Covert and executive sous chef Alison Denton to quit citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ in December 2015.

Though adding new Executive Chef Scott Shulman back in March, Cantina 1910 seemed to lose much of the wind in its sails. Sadly, this past weekend was the restaurant’s last.

The owners Thanked all its customers on the Cantina 1910 Facebook page late Sunday night, “”We want to thank everyone who has joined us at Cantina 1910 over the past year. Like any restaurant, we’ve had our ups and downs, but through it all our team has remained fully committed to serving sustainable, local ingredients through modern culinary techniques.” They added, “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the closing of Cantina 1910 and Café 1910 effective immediately.”

They continued to explain that an increase in wages coupled by area taxes and city fees proved to be the nail in the coffin for the restaurant.

“In the last two years, we have seen a 27% increase in the base minimum wage, a 60% increase in kitchen wages, and a national shortage of skilled culinary workers,” Cantina 1910 owners said. “We are facing a December 1 change in federal labor regulations that will nearly double required salaries for managers to qualify as exempt, a 2017 mandatory sick leave requirement and another minimum wage increase. Coupled with increasing Chicago and Cook County taxes and fees that disproportionately impact commercial properties and businesses, we are operating in an environment in which we do not see a path forward.”

Acknowledging the area’s competitive restaurant market, the felt they could not raise the menu prices any further in order to continue.


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