March 4th, 2014 | City

Ibiza Restaurant closes

After serving authentic Spanish food in New Haven for over a decade, Ibiza Restaurant has announced its closure.

Restaurant owners Maria and Juan Carlos Gonzales sent an email to customers earlier today, stating that Tuesday evening would be its last night of service at 39 High Street. The announcement was also posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of Ibiza Restaurant in New Haven,” the email stated. “For more than a decade as Ibiza Restaurant, and a number of years as Pika Tapas Café before that, we have striven to bring you the most exciting and contemporary Spanish food in America.”

The email did not explain why the restaurant was shutting down, and the restaurant owners could not be reached for comment on Tuesday because they were trying to accommodate the influx of customers who came for one last meal.

Rebecca, who did not want her last name printed, said she had worked at Ibiza off and on for the past 14 years as a hostess and that the owners found out on Monday they had lost the lease. However, she said she did not know any further details about why the property owner terminated the lease.

“It was a surprise for everyone,” she said. “It’s a sad day for New Haven because this is really a great restaurant.”

She added that the restaurant has been a staple of New Haven’s thriving restaurant scene for over 15 years and that there has been very little staff turnover since it opened.

Ten patrons who were interviewed on Tuesday all said they were surprised and saddened to hear about the restaurant’s closing.

“It’s a loss for the community because it was really something special,” New Haven resident and former faculty member at the Yale Child Study Center Helen Sacks said. She added that she decided to come for dinner on Tuesday to get one last meal at one of her favorite restaurants.

Betsy DePalma, who lives in Milford, said that Ibiza is the best restaurant she has ever eaten at and that she comes to New Haven only to eat at Ibiza.

Ibiza has another location on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden, Connecticut.