Mamajuana Cafe, the Latin American restaurant on Amsterdam between 87th and 88th streets, was seized by the city marshal on Monday and shut down, with the property returned to the landlord. The restaurant, which opened in 2011 and is part of a chain of six restaurants in and around the city, served Dominican food and other Latin American specialties. No one was answering the phone at the restaurant on Wednesday evening and the mailbox was full.

The neighbor who tipped us off said that the restaurant had been a nuisance, staying open until 4 a.m. over the weekend. “No matter how much I called 311, it never changed.”

Mamajuana was temporarily closed by the health department and fined by the state liquor authority last year.

It’s not immediately clear whether the restaurant is now closed for good, or whether this will be temporary. We will update if we hear more.

mamajuana notice

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 18 comments | permalink
    1. al says:

      good widdance to bad wubbish

    2. Kenneth says:

      Never saw more the 6 people In the restaurant in the last two years when walking by at dinner hour. Outside was a mess. Inside looked depressing.

    3. Jason says:

      I stopped by for a drink the other night and the bartender looked at me like I had two heads sitting down and asking for a drink. Get lost, this place stinks.

    4. JC says:

      Jason-hit it right on the head. The service there was comically bad. In a business where the bulk of profit can be made at the bar, the bartenders were usually like an SNL parody of what a bad bartender was. You could sit at the empty bar and wait for 10 minutes before the sullen bartender would cast a glance your way. The non-existent floor management, the indifferent and often hostile hosts, and the daily turnover of wait staff did not help either. The shame of all this is that when they first opened they had a terrific chef, and menu, and a friendly, and conscientious wait staff. The food was creative and well prepared and delicious. We went several times in their first months of operation, often bringing friends from out of town to our new favorite restaurant. But then the service began to decline, and the blame can be clearly laid on management. They hired sullen unhappy people for a service business and did nothing to rectify the eroding quality of the experience. A real shame in a neighborhood that can always use another nice restaurant.

    5. Mike says:

      Definitely good riddance to this place… I’ve never seen a place so consistently empty stay open this long. Thank goodness the amazing Mermaid Inn is next door!

    6. Wendy says:

      I had some nice meals there, and they had a good happy hour. I saw that it had been shut down. Wonder if it was for non-payment of rent. Kenneth, you must have been passing at the wrong time. It had a steady clientele, especially on the weekends.

    7. Doug says:

      I bet they were seized because they were probably selling Mamjuana…..

    8. Doug says:


    9. Tostonesfix says:

      >>I stopped by for a drink the other night and the bartender looked at me like I had two heads sitting down and asking for a drink.

      The same thing happened to me. Just two weeks ago, I went to the bar, ordered a margarita and the bartender seemed perplexed by my order. She walked away and started cleaning glasses and never brought my drink. I walked out. I hope something decent opens there.

    10. Eve says:

      Good riddance! Was there for “happy hour” last week, bartender wasn’t in yet and it was already 5, happy hours starts at 3. A server got my drink and it had a hair in it and my fiancés “clean” glass had lipstick on it! That was my 3rd time there since it opened I don’t know why I ever bothered but I’m glad it’s gone hopefully forever.

    11. webot says:

      I know nothing of this place. But as you can see they got evicted for non payment of rent.

      This means the landlord got stiffed for months and months (and months given the court delays) of rent, had to pay the legal fees and marshall fees and now has to re-rent the place and probably pay another broker. All the while still paying the same taxes and upkeep.

      I am justing pointing it out to those that don’t want to understand that nothing as so simple as to just blame it or dismiss it “greedy landlords”.

      • Sally Smile says:

        Thank you so much for defending the reputations of the few landlords who are not greedy from the vast majority of landlords who are very greedy. It’s nice to see someone doing God’s work around here!

    12. Mike Porter says:

      Food wasn’t bad but it was badly overpriced. It was uptown home cooking at downtown destination dining prices. And cafeteria decor to boot–no table cloth, no place to hang a coat.

    13. A for B says:

      Viva Rancho Cafe. I loved that place and this one could never fill the void.

    14. CharlieAndCosmo says:

      We had a drink there once while waiting for a table at Mermaid. We found the place to be sticky. The bartender was clearly wishing he was elsewhere. I was reminded of Kennedy Airport.

    15. Paul RL says:

      Based on the majority of the comments here, I guess it’s no great loss. But the service must have really gone downhill, because I had nice experiences there the first couple of years that it was open although I haven’t been in some time. I just hope the next tenant is also a restaurant.

    16. Kenneth says:

      I loved the perpetual display of dead plants in the outdoor café divider wall.