Cafe Society

The end of Zona's Tamales? Restaurant owner Zona Moore and son arrested for trafficking in stolen goods

"No cigarett" [sic] read the chalkboard sign outside of Zona's Tamales at 713 East 26th Avenue today.

The ordering window of the tiny restaurant was littered with new paperwork, too: "No tabacco products" was scrawled on a sheet of paper. Another slip assured visitors that Zona's would be open regular hours. And a bright green flier had an explanation for the written declarations:

"Ms. Zona, an 84-year-old matriarch, was arrested on Thursday, July 22 for allegedly selling single cigarettes. She has also been given a three day notice to vacate her business!"

That three-day window has come and gone -- though the eviction process still rumbles on -- and Zona's is still turning out tamales and pig's ear sandwiches. Zona Moore is nowhere to be seen, though, and melancholy hangs on the faces of the employees inside the bright corner building.

As reported this morning Latest Word, the 84-year-old woman was arrested with her son, Saalim Muhammed, and another woman, Renee McKinnon, and charged with buying and selling stolen goods. Most of those goods were cigarettes, but reports indicate that other items, like TVs, were also part of the inventory. Moore is currently out on bond.

The surrounding community, which doesn't want to see the forty-year-old Zona's Tamales shut down, is holding a rally tonight at 6 p.m. on the corner of 26th and Welton Street, coming out in support of Moore and her business.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk