UWS Mama Mexico Update: Restaurant Has Sordid Past Of Tax Evasion & Alleged Labor Law Violations

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
Photo: besenretail.wordpress.com

Photo: besenretail.wordpress.com

UPDATE: Rumored Mama Mexico Buyout With Reopening Under New Management

UPDATE 2/1: Mama Mexico space slated to become Maria Bonita

Posted yesterday that UWS restaurant Mama Mexico (2672 Broadway) was mysteriously shuttered over the weekend.

Apparently this isn’t the first time it’s happened.


The restaurant closed briefly in December of 2009 after being seized for non-payment of taxes. That closure came on the heels of two lawsuits filed by workers earlier in 2009 alleging numerous violations of both state and federal labor law (previous MUW coverage here & here, from the Lauren & Torrey days before I moved to the UWS).

Many thanks to a tip from MUW reader Alexandra about Mama Mexico’s past (h/t also to readers Renny & @areacode212):

Mama Mexico was previously seized by the tax authorities for non-payment and they’re currently being sued for non-payment of tips/overtime/etc. It’s not uncommon for companies to try shuttering and disappearing when facing these suits.

Hard to tell if that link is new or related to the 2009 lawsuits — for additional details on those cases you can read press releases from August and November of 2009. If any lawyers reading this have online access to recent court documents, feel free to send ‘em my way.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, all three Mama Mexico locations are closed — not just the UWS branch. According to a blurb on Eater, the Midtown outpost has already been closed for more than a month.

It’s unclear if, or when, the restaurant might reopen — they were only closed for a week due to 2009′s tax issues — but it’s not a huge leap to presume the recent closure is related to its sordid past. The fact that their Midtown location has already been closed for 30+ days certainly doesn’t bode well for their future.

I wasn’t all that impressed during my visit there last week, but they’ve been in business for a while, so they have their fans and must have been doing something right.

If you’re looking for a neighborhood alternative, I’ll defer to MUW reader Renny, who posted the following on MUW’s Facebook page yesterday:

I live right across the street from there and I just looked out my window and sure enough, it’s dark in there. They were shut down for awhile last year for not paying taxes. Maybe that’s the situation again? Who knows, and honestly who cares? Noche Mexicana on 101 and Amsterdam is the real deal and 10 million times better than Mama Mexico!



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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Wiggins/815864123 Raymond Wiggins

    Wow, sorry to hear they are closed. I’m a big fan of theirs. I have been there about ten times and truly enjoyed it each and every time. Yes, they are a little pricey but, the ambiance, service and food are great. Noche Mexicana on 101 and amsterdam definitely is the real deal, in terms of a ‘deal’ for your money but, truly is no comparison to Mama Mexico. None at all, they’re as different as chalk and cheese. I am also a big fan of labour relations and fairness to employees, all employees, regardless of their title/duties, so I hope that if it was such labour issues that they settle that fairly and satisfactorily. i hope they reopen soon. Good luck to all involved, the lesser (for me anyway) of whom, would be the tax man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Wiggins/815864123 Raymond Wiggins

    Wow, sorry to hear they are closed. I’m a big fan of theirs. I have been there about ten times and truly enjoyed it each and every time. Yes, they are a little pricey but, the ambiance, service and food are great. Noche Mexicana on 101 and amsterdam definitely is the real deal, in terms of a ‘deal’ for your money but, truly is no comparison to Mama Mexico. None at all, they’re as different as chalk and cheese. I am also a big fan of labour relations and fairness to employees, all employees, regardless of their title/duties, so I hope that if it was such labour issues that they settle that fairly and satisfactorily. i hope they reopen soon. Good luck to all involved, the lesser (for me anyway) of whom, would be the tax man.