Poca Madre, Victor Albisu’s Mod Mexican Destination, Has Permanently Closed

Sister restaurant Taco Bamba DC isn't coming back, either.

Poca Madre, chef Victor Albisu's modern Mexican restaurant. Photography by Greg Powers, courtesy of Poca Madre.

Chef Victor Albisu has closed his two Mexican restaurants in Penn Quarter: fine dining Poca Madre and adjoining fast-casual taqueria, Taco Bamba. The latter was the only DC location of Albisu’s creative taco joint, though he still operates five branches in Northern Virginia, including a brand new Taco Bamba Ballston.

A representative for Albisu confirms the two downtown DC restaurants, which have been dark since late March, were shuttered due to Covid-19. Albisu declined to comment further.

Restaurants and bars in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter neighborhood have been particularly affected by the pandemic with Capital One Arena and museums closed, tourism down 53 percent, and offices filled to a mere five percent capacity. Seven restaurants, including Albisu’s, have permanently closed since March. A huge new outdoor “streatery” is in the works, and aims to bring more visitors to the area.

Albisu garnered accolades for the upscale Mexican cooking at Poca Madre (it landed in the #6 spot on our 2020 100 Best Restaurants list), which, along with Taco Bamba DC, opened in 2018. They replaced Albisu’s long-running South American grill, Del Campo.

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.