Wow! Tucson’s Terra Cotta restaurant is closing January 31. It has been around for 22 years and raised the bar for Southwest fine dining.
I wasn’t living in Tucson at the time but remember going there when I visited and of course, many times since I have lived here. The Luria family are great people and the community will miss them.
My friend Lee is coming to visit in a few weeks and said he wanted to go there as he has dined at Terra Cotta on his many business trips to Tucson over the years. Good thing he is coming while it’s still open.
Here’s the press release, verbatim:
The Original “Original” Says Goodbye
Tucson, AZ—–A sad decision was made this week by one of Tucson’s leading culinary families. After a hugely successful 22 year run, the Luria Family – owners of Terra Cotta – have decided to close the award winning restaurant. The standard bearer for Southwest style cuisine, Café Terra Cotta (as it was called originally) was founded in 1986 by Don Luria and wife Donna Nordin, internationally renowned chef who helped bring culinary fame and style to Tucson.
From her delectable flourless chocolate cake gracing the cover of Bon Apetit magazine in December 1980 to the popular Terra Cotta cookbook, Nordin has lead the way in many areas – both as a female chef in a male dominated industry, and an expert on the foods and flavors of the southwest.
Although Luria and Nordin have stayed very involved since then, the day to day operations of Terra Cotta have been ably managed by son Michael Luria and his wife Maya since 2001. “ With the economy in the state it is, it has become a daily challenge financially to maintain our uncompromising standards of using the finest ingredients and to keep up with the high overhead of operating the restaurant”, said Michael Luria. “We have had a really good run. We will always be so grateful for the loyalty this community has shown us. Of course our loyalty to them will not end. We will continue to be very involved in the things we love that make Tucson unique – such as the various non profits and arts organizations that we are all involved in.
In addition to taking these next few weeks to personally say goodbye to our many local guests, we will also be working with our staff to help them find work at other fine restaurants in Tucson. We will also assist those groups that have booked parties with Terra Cotta in their efforts to re book at other restaurants. The last official day for local fans to get their fix of their Terra Cotta favorites will be Jan 31. Until then, the restaurant will be open nightly from 4 p.m. For reservations please call 520-577-8100.
Email sent to loyal Terra Cotta fans on Jan 10th :
It is with mixed emotions that we write to you today to share the news that after a tremendous 22 years of serving our friends, neighbors and guests from near and far, Terra Cotta will close its doors on Saturday, January 31st. Like so many other businesses, the current economic climate has taken its toll on us too and we can no longer continue on.
On behalf of the Luria and Nordin families, we want to express our gratitude to you, our valued guests, who have afforded us the opportunity to pursue our passion these last 22 years. It has been an honor and privilege to open our doors each night and do our best in providing you with a unique Southwestern dining experience. We would be remiss if we didn’t also acknowledge and thank the many talented staff that have worked with us over the years in creating and serving the wonderful cuisine that made Terra Cotta the success that it was. Lastly, we want to thank our many vendors (partners really, many of whom are local businesses too) and acknowledge our dedicated and talented peers in the industry – particularly those in the Tucson Originals.
While every story has an ending, this is not particularly the one our family would have chosen. However, in these last few weeks, we intend to focus on what has been and will ultimately be our defining legacy: the many treasured relationships we have developed with you, our guests.
So, in these last few weeks, we hope that you will come in and dine with us at Terra Cotta to enjoy one last bowl of Jennifer’s Tortilla Soup, the Garlic Custard, our signature Stuffed Prawns with Goat Cheese and of course one last piece of our famous Chocolate Mousse Pie.
We’ll be open nightly starting at 4:00 PM now thru January 31.
Michael and Maya, Don and Donna