January 8th, 2012 | City

Ay! Salsa empties out High Street location

Ay! Salsa had been emptied out as of Sunday afternoon.
Ay! Salsa had been emptied out as of Sunday afternoon. Photo by Nick Defiesta.

Has a food cart won Battle Arepa?

¡Ay! Salsa, a beloved Latin restaurant at 25 High St., appears to have closed its doors. The restaurant’s space was emptied of all equipment, furniture and decoration as of Sunday afternoon, and a phone call to ¡Ay! Salsa’s number went unanswered.

A construction worker inside ¡Ay! Salsa’s former space said that the restaurant had left and that another business would be taking its place, but he said he was uncertain if ¡Ay! Salsa had moved elsewhere, or what might replace it.

Brothers Ernesto Garcia and Franco Gonzales, along with Gonzales’ wife Yani Acosta, opened the High Street location of ¡Ay! Salsa in June 2009. A month later, Gonzales returned home to Oaxaca, Mexico, leaving Acosta and Garcia in charge of ¡Ay! Salsa. Shortly after Gonzales’ return to Mexico, he and his wife divorced. Garcia opened Ay! Arepa on his own in the fall of 2010, and Acosta replaced him with a new head chef, Jason Thorp.

Check back for more updates.