Sir Veza’s Kitchen & Kantina at the Tucson Mall closed after its lunch service on Sunday, eight weeks after owner Ray Flores finished a minor remodel of the restaurant and tweaked the concept from table service to fast-casual.
Flores, in a Facebook post Sunday afternoon, blamed the closure on “long-term” unresolved problems with the building he rents from the Tucson Mall at 220 W. Wetmore Road.
“We must close our doors effective immediately in order to determine if there will be sufficient repairs and other remedies made available by Brookfield Properties, our Chicago, Illinois-based landlords, to fully correct the situation,” he said in the statement.
In his statement, Flores said he became more concerned about the ongoing problem with the building during the September remodeling project.
When reached for additional comment, Flores would not elaborate pending negotiations with the mall’s owners.
“I’m very upset over this,” Flores said. “As the only locally owned restaurant brand at Tucson Mall, we’ve watched nearly a dozen chain restaurants close up shop and hundreds lose their jobs along the way. We hate closing, but this problem has really hurt financially and we can’t be responsible for something we didn’t cause.
“We will find work for those affected by this and we hope to see better days,” he added.
Sir Veza’s opened at the Tucson Mall in early 2012, the second outpost of Flores’ concept that he’s also taken to Chandler and Phoenix’s Talking Stick Arena. The craft burgers, tacos and beer concept restaurant also operates outposts at the Phoenix and Baltimore airports.
None of those restaurants are affected by the Tucson Mall closing.
Flores did not rule out the possibility of reopening the restaurant at the mall “should the issue be remedied.” He also might explore a new location, he said.
Flores launched the Sir Veza’s concept in 2009 at 4699 E. Speedway. That restaurant was open seven years before closing in summer 2016.
Flores’ family operates three El Charro restaurants — downtown at 311 N. Court Ave., in Oro Valley at 7725 N. Oracle Road and in the foothills at 6910 E. Sunrise Drive, and is loosely affiliated with an El Charro location at the Tucson Airport — and Charro Steak at 188 E. Broadway, which they opened in April 2016 on the ground floor of the historic Julian Drew Building.