This is devastating news for local lovers of Mexican food, as the Tortilla Factory on Elden Street in Herndon has become something of an institution. Unpaid taxes are in part to blame. From an article in the Herndon Connection:
Customers from all over the Washington Metropolitan area are streaming to the Tortilla Factory in Herndon after learning the restaurant will soon be closing its doors after more than 35 years in business. Late last week word began to spread via the Internet that owner Chuck Curcio would be shutting down the restaurant on March 1. Since the public found out, there has been a waiting list each night to relive the memories and enjoy the Sonora Mexican style cuisine.
Several factors came together to force the closing of the Tortilla Factory. The economic downturn created a drop off in sales. Then, according to the town of Herndon, the owner stopped complying with the meals tax in 2009. Town of Herndon has a meals tax rate of 2.5 percent. Curcio owes more than $9,000 including interest and penalties but has been working with the town recently to pay the money. Additionally, the shopping center is old and according to Curcio, beginning to deteriorate. “It was going to be expensive and we decided it wasn’t worth the investment. We are also here all the time. I work 70 hour weeks and haven’t had a vacation in literally three years,” Curcio said.