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Bell Boulevard's La Botega Closed

La Botega, a Bell Boulevard eatery that serves panini and pasta, is closed and the site's landlord has put up a "space available" sign.

The restaurant, located at 42-29 Bell Blvd., has a notice from the marshal's office on its window from Dec. 3.

The note reads, "The landlord has legal possession of these premises pursuant to a warrant of the civil court."

Lyle Sclair, executive director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District, said he did not know why the business had closed, but did not expect it to reopen.

Sabre Real Estate has a sign in the eatery's window advertising available space at the site.

Karen Califano January 14, 2014 at 10:57 AM
Probably couldn't pay the rent. The place was not very busy most of the time. Food was ok, but kinda pricey for lunch. The thing is on Bell Boulevard, there are already a ton of restaurants and to "make it" in this economy, they have to come up with something different, with good food at decent prices, or people will not frequent these establishments.
Phil Konigsberg January 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM
I can suggest why they closed based on an experience we had about a year ago. I'm surprised they stayed open until now! Six of us went there for dinner on a Saturday night during last winter. We asked to be seated in the back of the restaurant dining room where there would be more room than up front but saw nobody else seated - a sign of things to come. We noticed that it was very cold in the room and asked our server if he could turn up the heat a bit when he came over to take our order. Then THREE of us were advised that they were out of the entree on the menu that we requested. I could understand one out of six being understandable, but half of us couldn't get what we ordered from their menu. As we waited for our meals to be prepared, all of us were getting really cold. When we asked our server if he was able to get the thermostat turned up so the room we were in could be warmed up a bit our server told us that the thermostat was turned up top the highest temperature they could. After a few minutes, some of us had to put on our coats while we were sitting at the table. The icing on the cake came when I asked for a cup of coffee and the milk they served for the coffee was bad and curdled up when I poured it into the cup of coffee. When I called the server back to let him know that I needed a new cup of coffee with fresh milk and showed him why, HE GOT UPSET and said "they just bought the milk today" as if that mattered to us. We were rather unhappy as you may have determined (I don't know why we didn't leave when we realized they had no heat) and asked for the manager. After explaining our experience, she profusely apologized especially for the server's attitude when we said we didn't care when they bought the milk - the milk was bad! The manager then had someone go out to another store on Bell Blvd and bought fresh milk and I was able to have my coffee - which helped warm me up somewhat. What's surprising is there are a number of other La Botega restaurants operating in the metropolitan area.
Karen Califano January 14, 2014 at 11:47 AM
Wow, its funny because my daughter and her husband had gone there for dinner over the winter and said the same thing, that it was VERY cold in the place! I only had lunch there and it was mostly for take out. I ate dinner there once this past summer and the place was pretty empty for a Saturday nite. I bet they were not doing well because of the bad service and cold dining room in the winter, thus, they could not pay the rent.
Claudia January 21, 2014 at 08:28 PM
We had similar experience. Food not good or fresh. I wondered how they stayed open do long- with no one in the place.

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