Tortas Frontera will close their on-campus location in the ARCH building by the end of this semester.
The exact date of closure for the Mexican fast-casual restaurant, which opened in February 2014, has not been set, Penn Business Services Director of Communications and External Relations Barbara Lea-Kruger wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian. Lea-Kruger said Frontera will continue to operate through the end of the spring semester, and that Penn has not made a final decision on its replacement yet.
Penn Dining is aiming to open Frontera’s replacement by the start of the fall semester, Chair of the Undergraduate Assembly’s Dining, Housing, and Transit Committee and College and Wharton junior Maria Curry said.
"The decision to close the restaurant was a difficult one and stemmed from the changing food landscape on campus and dining's need to constantly recalibrate its offerings based on evolving needs of the Penn Community," Resident District Manager of Bon Appétit Bill Hess wrote in an email to the DP.
"Penn and Bon Appétit are proud of this successful ground-breaking partnership and look forward to finding future opportunities to continue the relationship," Hess added.
Curry said Frontera is closing primarily because of the losses its seen in recent years.
“It's just not making money. Penn Dining overall doesn't make a profit," Curry said, adding that fixed costs and operations are a burden for the University. "Maybe if they lowered the prices, people would buy more.”
Frontera is run by American celebrity chef Rick Bayless and serves tortas, soups, guacamole, and flatbreads. In addition to its Penn location, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport houses a second Tortas Frontera location.
Bon Appétit staff who work at Frontera will be transferred to other Bon Appétit locations on campus, Hess said.
Perelman Quadrangle held focus groups on March 19 to source student feedback about Frontera’s replacement, according to the UA’s March 17 meeting minutes. Lea-Kruger wrote that Penn Dining will also continue meeting with Penn affiliated members to collect opinions about Frontera's replacement.
Deputy News Editor Gordon Ho contributed reporting.