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Two New Restaurant Closures in Clarendon: Fuego and Spice

The rumors were true, unfortunately: Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in Clarendon is closing.

The restaurant confirmed in a press release this evening that its last day will be Sunday, Oct. 16. Fuego opened four years ago, in October 2012, at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Fillmore Street.

“Even great-tasting restaurants battle tough odds, but we cannot thank our devotees enough who were a constant support and presence at our bar and in our dining room,” chef and co-owner Jeff Tunks said in a statement.

Separately, it appears that another Clarendon eatery — Spice, a well-reviewed Italian hoagie and Mediterranean food shop at 3033 Wilson Blvd — has closed after just over two years in business.

There was no notice of a closing in the windows and nothing posted on the restaurant’s social media accounts, but the doors were locked and the phone disconnected throughout the day today. Numerous boxes littered the restaurant’s interior. So far, however, there has been no confirmation that it is permanently closed.”

“[Spice] is a favorite for my coworkers and me,” one regular customer told ARLnow.com. “Do you know if it’s officially closed? Too bad, if so! It was a great place.”

This has been a turbulent year for Clarendon restaurants, with at least a half dozen — including local staples Hard Times Cafe and Boulevard Woodgrill — closing since the end of April. At the same time, however, there are a number of new restaurants and bars opening — like Ambar and Wilson Hardware.

The full press release about Fuego’s closing, after the jump.

After four years of burning hot and bright in the northern Virginia neighborhood of Clarendon, the fire that is Fuego Cocina y Tequileria will be extinguishing. With a name that literally translated to “fire kitchen and tequila bar,” Fuego opened October 2012 as a vibrant temple of authentic Mexican cuisine, serving robust flavors and the most extensive range of tequilas in the metropolitan area. With its last dinner service on Sunday, October 16, 2016, Fuego will offer a series of weekend-long specials as a farewell fiesta leading up to its closing.

“Even great-tasting restaurants battle tough odds, but we cannot thank our devotees enough who were a constant support and presence at our bar and in our dining room,” says Jeff Tunks, chef/co-proprietor of Fuego Cocina y Tequileria.

Fuego was acclaimed just recently as being among the “Best Spicy Food Restaurants in DC” [CBS Local, August 2016] and one of the top three Mexican restaurants in the DC area [Washingtonian, December 2014]; having the “Best Margarita Happy Hour” [Washingtonian, June 2016] and the “Favorite Tacos in DC” [Eater.com, October 2012]. It has been especially popular among the neighborhood’s youthful bar crowd, who have made Fuego’s main-level tequileria and lounge a lively destination.

“We’ve loved being part of this dynamic and welcoming community, but at this time, the location ultimately does not fit into the goals of our professional direction,” says Gus DiMillo, one of the partners of Fuego. “We’re proud to have made strong, loyal friendships here in Clarendon, and we hope we’ll continue to see many of our Fuego patrons around town in the future.”

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