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La Tasca closed today in Chinatown today after more than a decade in business serving Spanish tapas, paella, and pitchers of sangria. An announcement on the company’s website encourages diners to visit La Tasca locations in Alexandria and Rockville instead. 

The problem is that staff members, including several that are long-tenured, found out about the closure the same day the restaurant shut its doors.

City Paper obtained an email, dated Nov. 25, that informs “all La Tasca D.C. Associates” that the restaurant “will have to close its doors and no longer be in business.” This lack of notice leaves the restaurants’ many employees scrambling for work just in time for the holidays. 

In the email, La Tasca ownership says that La Tasca Alexandria and La Tasca Rockville remain in business and they will “accommodate inter-company transfers to those locations.” It continues, “Further, we can make recommendations and facilitate interviews and securing similar job positions.” 

An employee City Paper spoke with on the condition of anonymity says inter-company transfers aren’t an ideal solution because some employees have set schedules that may not be honored by a different general manager and a commute to Rockville or Alexandria is different from a commute to downtown D.C. “I’ve turned down jobs to stay loyal to this company and this is how they repay my loyalty,” they say. 

More advanced notice would have enabled staff members to get a new job lined up. 

Ownership provided the following statement on the closure and its impact on employees: 

“We understand La Tasca Chinatown’s closing may seem abrupt, but we decided with our landlord late last week not to renew our lease. La Tasca Chinatown employees are being offered positions at La Tasca’s other locations in Rockville and Alexandria and those transfers are effective immediately. There is a schedule in place for this week at La Tasca Chinatown and we are honoring that schedule. Employees who report to work this week will be compensated for their time and they have the option to choose to be transferred to our Rockville or Alexandria locations. We care deeply about our employees, they the heart of La Tasca, and we are doing everything in our power to accommodate them.”

L’a Tasca, 722 7th St. NW; latascausa.com

Photo via Shutterstock