In the summer of 2012, Derek Dietz opened Bocadillo, originally as a Spanish-influenced sandwich shop, on a quiet street in Sunnyside. "I fell in love with the Sunnyside neighborhood, the huge kitchen and the space, and it had always been my dream to open a restaurant," said Dietz, Bocadillo's owner and executive chef, when I chatted with him last December for my weekly Chef and Tell interview.
And while running a restaurant -- in this case, a one-man show -- is never easy, Bocadillo generated an early swell of accolades, and things were going well until Dietz, who's originally from Philadelphia, was forced to temporarily close his restaurant because of a family emergency back home. Earlier this year, he reopened it, and in March, Westword food critic Gretchen Kurtz reviewed the restaurant, concluding that "Bocadillo stands out as a place run by a man who may not know how to decorate, but definitely knows how to cook."
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Then, in late April, Dietz alerted would-be guests that Bocadillo would be closed for five days and reopen with a new spring menu. But Dietz never reopened, and Bocadillo is permanently shuttered, leaving in its wake a gloomy space that's been cleared out.