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Ali Pacha co-founder Sebastian Quiroga tells City Paper his vegan Bolivian restaurant is no longer opening inside La Cosecha. Earlier this year, modern Mexican restaurant Amparo Fondita also cut ties with the project from developer EDENS. Operators behind the restaurants are tight-lipped about the reasons behind their decisions.
The 20,000 square-foot Latin marketplace opened in October 2019 at 1280 4th St. NE. The only bar or restaurant that’s been fully operational since day one is Serenata from the Colada Shop team. Recently, the Peruvian Brothers sandwich shop marked its grand opening. The other tenants continue to operate as pop-ups or are under construction. La Cosecha is still only open Thursdays through Sundays, significantly limiting the income-earning potential of its tenants.
The original location of Ali Pacha is located in La Paz, Bolivia, where Quiroga grew up. It opened in 2016 and reeled in accolades for its innovative approach to plant-based dining that’s also luxurious. For the D.C. location, Quiroga teamed up with fellow La Paz native Santiago Diaz.
Quiroga did not respond to multiple requests for comment about whether he and Diaz will seek out another location in D.C. or why they decided to leave La Cosecha. EDENS also did not respond to requests for comment about Ali Pacha’s departure.
Richie Brandenburg, EDENS former director of culinary strategy, was involved in selecting the tenants for La Cosecha. He left the company earlier this year, but tells City Paper it was on good terms.
According to the La Cosecha website, “La Cosecha is a contemporary market celebrating Latin American culture and conversation by telling the stories that unite the Americas: love of family, community and life; pride in values; credence in hard work; and celebration through food and art.”