After nearly a half-decade serving high-end Venezuelan cuisine to customers, Alma Cocina Latina announced Thursday that it would be closing its Canton brick-and-mortar location.
“Alma Cocina latina Will be closing its Canton location soon,” an Instagram post published Thursday read. “We will keep you posted. Thank you for your enormous love and support these past 5 years!!”
The Instagram post’s description stated “5.5 years” instead of five and added that the restaurant would be continuing its partnership with Baltimore’s Mera Kitchen Collective to provide meals to communities in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our way of thinking about food is shifting radically,” said restaurant owner Irena Stein back in July. “The way we think about who our clientele is, is definitely changing.”
Reached Thursday, Stein said the closing wasn’t related to the coronavirus, which has cut into many restaurants’ business. Rather, the restaurant will be moving to another location in the city out of a desire to expand its kitchen and keep the community meals program going. She hopes to announce the new location in the next couple of days.
“We hope to reopen within a month or so ... we’re going to continue doing community meals every day, and we’re borrowing a kitchen at Neopol,” she said, referring to a smokery in the Belvedere Square area.
“We need most likely a bigger kitchen because the initiative, in the morning, that we do with Mera, we’re going to need more space,” she added.
Another outpost for the restaurant at the American Visionary Art Museum is continuing to do scheduled catering, as the museum is currently closed. “The cafe, we don’t know when we’ll reopen ...[but] we’re gonna keep it,” she said.
Stein noted that the community meals program produces about 500 meals per day at present. Alma Cocina Latina earned regional acclaim for its take on Venezuelan cuisine, focusing heavily on arepas as well as reinterpreted dishes like New York prime steak and more.
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Baltimore Sun reporter Christina Tkacik contributed to this article.