Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy
El Sombrero, aka the Hat, which has anchored the corner of Ludlow and Stanton Street for decades, will not be reopening.
Paper has covered the front windows here, leading to speculation about the Mexican restaurant's future.
Owners Junior and Judy Almonte, seen here on Monday, confirmed the closure to EVG correspondent Stacie Joy...
Pandemic aside, Junior cited the rising food costs and challenges of hiring staff as well as some personal health concerns as the reasons behind the decision to close.
Distance was also an issue, as the couple, who have four children, now live in New Jersey.
While the restaurant is closing, the Almontes said that they may reopen in another location at some point. Meanwhile, Junior said that they were selling items and supplies from the restaurant. (Interested parties can contact them via social media.)
With business in decline, the restaurant closed in March 2014 ... Junior, related to the original owners, refurbished the space and reopened it in November 2014.Given this high-profile LES corner, it's hard to imagine the space staying vacant for long. Artichoke Basille's Pizza was a 2014 suitor, though those plans never materialized.