HUDSON — In a surprise announcement Tuesday, Mexican Radio signed off for good.
The restaurant, famous for its south-of-the-border dishes with vegan and vegetarian options, closed its doors at 537 Warren St. on Aug. 11, but officially announced the closing on its website Tuesday.
“It is with very heavy hearts that after over 16 years of operation we must sadly announce the closing of Mexican Radio Hudson,” owners Mark Young and Lori Selden said. “The pain of this, following the closing of our 20-plus year Radio NYC location just a couple of years ago, is acute, with positive memories of both our nuclear Familias blending with the grief of losing both so closely together.”
The hundred-seat Mexican restaurant, in a former antique store, is both named for and modeled after the former Mexican Radio at 19 Cleveland Place, which was founded on the border of Little Italy and SoHo in New York City. The Cleveland Place location closed March 2017.
The restaurant opened its doors in New York City 23 years ago. The Mexican Radio on Cleveland Place was the second incarnation of an earlier Mexican Radio on Mulberry Street, also in lower Manhattan. The Mulberry Street location was open from 1996 until 2000, before it was moved to the bigger site on Cleveland Place.
The New York City restaurant was voted five times as the best Mexican restaurant in the city and of which the New York Post said: “If there was a shrine built to Mexican food, Mexican Radio would be it.”
The Schenectady restaurant, at 325 State St., which opened five years ago, will remain open.
“In our 16-plus years in town we are extremely proud of what Mexican Radio created for our local community,” according to Young and Selden. “As one of Hudson’s earliest culinary pioneers we were key players in developing positive partnerships that spearheaded the entire local farm-to-table movement way ahead of its time. Not only did this help our local farming community grow but it also helped the entire City of Hudson, as well as Columbia County, evolve into a destination that was literally missing from every ‘Hudson Valley’ map when we first arrived.”
It’s unclear how many staff were let go, the reasons for closing or what will happen to the building. Young and Selden, who are married, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
A woman who answered the phone at the Schenectady location denied the Hudson restaurant is closing. She said it was undergoing remodeling and then hung up.
There was no sign on the door of the restaurant in Hudson on Tuesday, but the doors were locked. The phone number to the Hudson location was disconnected.
The 3,818-square-foot restaurant, not including storage, has a full-market value of $875,000. The restaurant is known for its open space. The first dining room has a ceiling 31 feet high and contains a 22-foot bar.
Rumors of the closing swirled in March 2018 when the restaurant building at 537 Warren St. went up for sale.
Young, the chief operating officer of Mexican Radio, said March 29, 2018 there were no plans to close Hudson. At that time, he said the sale of the building was a “cost-saving measure,” and the restaurant was looking for a good spring and busy summer.
“We didn’t like the Mexican food in New York City,” Selden said in a Register-Star article from Feb. 21, 2003. “We just happened to be lucky and it worked out.”
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.