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Maybe I should have seen this coming earlier. The signs were right in front of me. Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld, the founder and owner of Latin Concepts, and his wife, Nesrin, who actually runs the company, had already pulled the plug on Ceviche in Glover Park and sold their experiment in Peruvian-chifa cuisine in Arlington.
But yesterday, during a lengthy interview, Fraga-Rosenfeld explained that Latin Concepts is refocusing on markets not oversaturated with restaurants or, to be more precise, not oversaturated with the kind of sleek restaurant-lounges that LC specializes in. The company’s new projects are wide-ranging, he says, from a cluster of three restaurants and a nightclub in Pittsburgh to four bars and a lounge in Quito, Ecuador.
“I’ve put in about 12 more places in different parts of the world. That’s really what I’m focusing on,” Fraga-Rosenfeld explains to Y&H. “That’s why every time you call me I’m somewhere else.”
“What I realized is that D.C. has been a great city for me, an incredible city, but it has actually become a saturated city,” he continues. “It seems like every day somebody is opening three or four or five restaurants. What I’m trying to do now, I’m moving to secondary cities…where those concepts haven’t come in yet.”
To facilitate these new projects, Latin Concepts has created some subsidiary groups — Latin Concepts Pittsburgh and Latin Concepts Ecuador. But the company will remain headquartered in D.C., he says, where it will maintain about seven properties.