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An interior dining room at El Charlatan.It’s the time of year when restaurants start announcing closings. The most recent—and possibly most surprising—loss came last week. Enrique Lozano, owner-chef of James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist El Charlatan Taqueria y Ramen-ya in Socorro, just outside El Paso, announced on Instagram that his restaurant is closed indefinitely. Such language is often employed to let the regulars down easy, and allow for a glimmer of hope. But a conversation with Lozano left me with no doubts about El Charlatan’s fate—the decision to close was a matter of when, not if.Lozano told me his restaurant was essentially a one-man operation. He handled the shift schedules, payroll, deliveries, and accounting, but admits his main focus was on cooking the food and taking care of his staff. In…

The post Young Restaurants Close All the Time—But This Recent Loss in El Paso Really Stings appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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