Ceiba Will Close in September

The 11-year-old Latin restaurant bids farewell.

Ceiba prepares to close after 11 years downtown. Photograph courtesy of Passion Food Hospitality.

So long, Ceiba. Chef Jeff Tunks and business partners Gus DiMillo and David Wizenberg announced they’ll close the 11-year-old Latin eatery on September 27.

“It’s a business that has brought highs and lows,” says DiMillo in a release. “It is hard to plan the closing of a restaurant, when you open a restaurant successfully.”

The downtown eatery isn’t the only concept Passion Food Hospitality has closed. TenPenh shuttered in 2011, also after an 11-year run. The restaurant group’s current roster features eight spots, including DC Coast, Acadiana, and the newly opened Penn Commons, while a second PassionFish is slated to open in Bethesda next year. Anyone craving a last taste of Ceiba classics such as grilled octopus with gazpacho vinaigrette or Brazilian seafood stew should head over in the next two weeks.

UPDATE, 3 PM: Though TenPenh shuttered after a dispute with the lease, DiMillo tells Washingtonian that everything about Ceiba’s closure is amicable on all fronts. 

“It had 11 wonderful years, and it’s just that time,” says DiMillo. “You put a lot of thought and motion into opening a restaurant, and you do the same with closing. You have to pick the right time, and I think this is it.”

The team is refocusing their efforts behind newer concepts such as Fuego Cocina and the American “Commons” concept. DiMillo says they may have also secured a space for a second Burger Tap & Shake. Stay tuned for further details as they become available.

Find Anna Spiegel on Twitter at @annaspiegs.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.