Cafe Society

Zona's Tamales to close on October 15

"I'm tired. I'm 85 years old. I want to get my head back and figure out what I want to do all day," says Zona Moore, speaking from her screened-in office in the blue-and-orange building from which she's sold tamales, pig's ears sandwiches and soul food for the past forty years.

As reported in Latest Word, Moore pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of theft by receiving for buying and selling stolen cigarettes. She's now awaiting sentencing.

In the aftermath of Moore's July arrest, her business, Zona's Tamales, 713 East 26th Avenue, was temporarily seized by the city. Now, rather than fight to keep it open, Moore has opted to retire. She'll close up shop for good on October 15, much to the chagrin of her fans -- 200 of which rallied to her support after news of her arrest.

For those fans, Moore will hold a celebration of her birthday and her retirement on October 10 at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street, from 4 to 8 p.m.

Moore is looking forward to the last day at Zona's, and seems at peace with her decision. "I'm not answering the phone for two weeks," she says. "I've been here six days a week for forty years. I want to do something else."

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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