Courtesy DC Empanadas
Courtesy DC Empanadas

We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Not even a catastrophic electrical fire will stop Anna Bran Leis from making empanadas. The restaurateur behind DC Empanadas and Taqueria del Barrio shared today that her 2,400-square-foot commercial kitchen in Springfield, Virginia, caught fire on Wednesday. 

The space is where they prepared all of the empanadas they serve out of their food truck, at Tastemakers in Brookland, and at Taqueria del Barrio in Petworth. It’s also where they made meals for Territory Foods, and for their catering operation. “We have eight employees that work there,” Bran Leis says. “It was devastating.”

The fire occurred the on the one day of the week that no one works there. There were no injuries. 

Nothing was salvageable. 

“You don’t realize how much you amass in eight years until you have to write it down for an insurance company,” Bran Leis continues. “Hopefully we’ll be able to find something in the interim.” 

There won’t be any interruption in empanada production because for now, they’ll prepare them out of Taqueria del Barrio. 

Bran Leis is not sure how much she will have to pay out of pocket to replace equipment and find a new space, but she doesn’t want to set up a GoFundMe page. Instead, she says, “Come eat at the restaurant and have a margarita.”

Photo of fire damage courtesy of Anna Bran Leis