Hot on the heels of announcing a new Uptown location, Cuban charmer El Libre is closing its doors permanently in the French Quarter on Sunday, December 10. The news was announced Thursday on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Owner Blake Lindberg originally planned to keep both locations open, but the team “realized over the past week that managing both spaces will not [be] feasible, given the time commitment that our tiny cafe necessitates,” according to the Facebook post. The cafe is closing this Sunday night so that the equipment can be moved to the new location.
El Libre’s new Calhoun Street location Uptown, opening in January or February, is larger than the petite French Quarter spot that has housed the Cuban restaurant since it opened in 2015.
Soon to be located at the former home of a 40-year old Bud’s Broiler, the Cuban restaurant plans to expand the menu in the new spot with items like ropa vieja (possibly on poboy bread), a hamburger and fries, and more.
In thanking its French Quarter patrons for the support, the post stated that “this is purely a business decision, as we have outgrown our little space and simply need a bigger boat.”
An Eater tipster reported that a sign announcing the closure greeted patrons at the restaurant over the weekend.
Here’s the full post:
We have some bittersweet news. As we announced in our last post, we are moving into the old uptown Bud's Broiler space on Calhoun, and we hope to be open by mid-January or early February. We had initially intended to keep the downtown cafe open, but have realized over the past week that managing both spaces will not feasible, given the time commitment that our tiny cafe necessitates. Accordingly, the downtown El Libre will be permanently closing on Sunday, in order to move everything into our new location. We will be closed this evening to start the process, but will be open for regular business hours tomorrow through Sunday.
This is purely a business decision, as we have outgrown our little space and simply need a bigger boat. We are incredibly thankful for a wonderful two years and the amazing support that we have had from both tourists and our French Quarter community. We hope to see you this weekend and we're excited to bring you a new El Libre experience uptown with an expanded menu and a full bar. Our deepest gratitude.
All El Libre Coverage [ENOLA]