It’s the end of an era as Slow Roasted Bocadillos closes in Downtown Albuquerque.
On Sunday, chef and owner Marie Yniguez took to social media in a one-minute video to announce that the beloved staple won’t be reopening.
“I’m sure a lot of you guys already know, we did close down Bocadillos in hopes of maybe figuring something out in the last month,” she said. “Nothing has changed and we need to continue on with what we’re doing so that we can continue cooking for everybody.”
Yniguez opened the restaurant in 2009 with her wife, Karla Arvizu. The business name came from a word that she liked. The restaurant served items ranging from grilled cheese to a Cubano and the 505 Filthy, which had slow roasted chicken breast, with bacon and green chile.
“I was working for a tapas place in Arizona and the owner gave me a book,” Yniguez said. “I came across ‘bocadillos’ and I just loved the name. I love sandwiches too.”
In February, Yniguez was nominated as one of 21 semifinalists for a James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest.
It was her first time being nominated.
Yniguez said she looked for ways to keep Bocadillos open.
She said the Wells Fargo building — where Bocadillos is housed — has been empty for over two years and the foot traffic wasn’t enough.
“When you’re in a big building like that, you need the everyday business,” she said. “I wasn’t able to open weekends or evenings. With meat prices getting higher, I couldn’t keep up.”
Yniguez will remain busy with her two other culinary ventures in Albuquerque.
In April 2021, she built a trailer into a transportable smokehouse called Smokin’ Fred’s ’46.
Earlier this year, Yniguez opened My Moms, located at 500 Roma NW, which is around the corner from the old jail.
She said the closure is bittersweet because of all the work her team has put in to make Bocadillos successful.
“It’s been rough … because this is one of the best teams I’ve had,” she said.