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Porch Light Latin Kitchen Closes Permanently in Smyrna

Eater logo Eater 10/7/2021 Beth McKibben
© Porch Light Latin Kitchen

In an announcement posted to the restaurant’s website and on Instagram Thursday afternoon, chef Andre Gomez announced the closing of Porch Light Latin Kitchen after nearly six years in Smyrna. However, the chef indicated in the statement he could reopen the restaurant in some form in the future.

A reason for the closure was not provided, but the restaurant has remained closed for dine-in service for most of the pandemic, only offering takeout a few nights a week with occasional patio seating.

“How do I diversify and stop relying on ‘butts in seats?’ At the end of the day, it’s more cost effective than paying a server, paying a dishwasher, paying a washer,” he told Eater earlier this spring of operating Porch Light during the pandemic. “I put everything in a box...go. And takeout, I think, that’s going to be the norm.”

The chef also alluded to the daily stress of constantly pivoting operations in order to continue running a successful and profitable restaurant during the global health crisis, calling it “tiring on every level.”

Eater reached out to Gomez for comment on the closure.

A former Kevin Rathbun Steak chef de cuisine, at Porch Light Gomez showcased traditional meat-smoking techniques from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America, Spain, and Argentina in the dishes served at the restaurant. This included the citrus-brined beer-can chicken, cumin-spiced St. Louis ribs with guava-chipotle barbecue sauce, and a 12-hour coriander beef brisket.

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