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."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
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.