Rosa Mexicano Relocates From Its Original Midtown East Location

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Rosa Mexicano, a Mexican restaurant from chef Josefina Howard, has closed its flagship location in Midtown East and relocated several blocks away, Commercial Observer has learned.

The 37-year-old Mexican restaurant signed a lease for a 5,000-square-foot space at 985 Second Avenue, at the corner of East 52nd Street, according to information from Taryn Brandes, founder of Brand Urban, and the broker who represented Rosa Mexicano.

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The new location is several blocks south of its previous location, at 1063 First Avenue, at the corner of East 58th Street, which had been open since 1984. “Unfortunately we were forced to close the store down in September. We couldn’t come to an agreement with ownership,” Brandes said. “The silver lining is we found a relocation that’s a better position.”

The 10-year lease includes ramp-up rent for three years and accounts for the current crisis. “The landlords took into account the time it’s going to take for the world to come back to normal,” Brandes said. “We hope that in that amount of time, Manhattan will be back. It gives us time to reopen and means there’s less pressure to perform at the level that people had to perform before COVID, when [rents] were at an all-time high.”

Michael Shkreli of Winick Real Group represented the landlord, Los Angeles-based MWest Holdings, he confirmed.

The new location, which is scheduled to open in the spring, has wraparound frontage, offering an opportunity for outdoor dining, Brandes said. In addition, it’s in a more central location, with more daytime traffic from office workers — when they return — and more nightlife.

Still, it was a tough decision to relocate from the brand’s first location. “The goal was not to close, but, unfortunately, we were not able to come to terms,” Brandes said. “It was a really tough decision, and a very thoughtful decision, given the significance of the location. At the end of the day, it just didn’t make sense and we had to walk away.”

The brand has since expanded into a small chain, with locations in Union Square and Columbus Circle, as well as in other markets, including Boston and D.C.