Adams Morgan diners with a taste for mole received bad news yesterday when Casa Oaxaca, a traditional Mexican restaurant on 18th Street, announced it would close this Friday after eight years in business. In a message posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page, owners Karen Barroso and Rolando Juarez wrote that they will focus on catering while looking to relocate with “a brand new concept.”
Reached by phone, manager Joahna Hernandez said the restaurant has been priced out: “The rents have been going through the roof…we just tried to renew our lease, but we couldn’t do it with the same rent.” The team, she said, is looking to relocate to a DC neighborhood like “Bloomingdale, Shaw, or Petworth—any of the locations that are growing. We’re looking for something that is new and needing the kind of original Mexican food that we do.”
The Oaxacan restaurant isn’t the only longtime AdMo eatery affected by the rising costs of operating in the District. Mixtec shuttered in 2014 after 40 years on Columbia Road. Fellow veterans La Fourchette and Meskerem are still in operation, though both buildings housing the eateries are currently for sale.
Casa Oaxaca will remain open until the end of the week at regular hours, with food and drink specials that include a happy hour from 5 to 7:30. Barroso and Juarez own two other Washington Mexican restaurants: Guajillo in Rosslyn and Don Lencho in Manassas.