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Francisco's Centro Vasco Closes — Again — After 38 Years in Chelsea

By Maya Rajamani | October 20, 2017 9:50am | Updated on October 23, 2017 9:54am
 Francisco's Centro Vasco at 159 W. 23rd St., between Sixth and Seventh avenues.
Francisco's Centro Vasco at 159 W. 23rd St., between Sixth and Seventh avenues.
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DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani

CHELSEA — Francisco’s Centro Vasco, the decades-old seafood restaurant that reopened after briefly shutting its doors this summer, has closed for good this time, its owner said.

Owner Javier Quintans shuttered his family’s restaurant in July — saying he “felt like the business owned me, as opposed to me owning the business” — but decided to reopen it a week later after hearing from disappointed customers, he told DNAinfo New York.

On Thursday, however, Quintans confirmed that the eatery at 159 W. 23rd St., between Sixth and Seventh avenues, has permanently closed.

It served its last meal once again on Oct. 12, he said.

“When I decided the first time to really close and sell, I should have just stuck with it,” Quintans explained. “I still had the same feelings, and even though I was pushing myself to make it work and continue on, because it was such a good thing, I couldn’t do it anymore.”

The restaurant was “worse off” after it reopened, as some of its customers thought it had closed for good and didn’t return, he added.

Quintans — who took over the eatery after his father Francisco Quintans Suarez passed away in 2015 — is currently searching for a buyer for the building, he said, adding it was too early to say to whom he would sell. 

“My guess is that someone interested in a restaurant may want to buy the building, because this already is set up for a restaurant,” he said.

The restaurateur is now contemplating going back to school or getting a job in human services, which he studied in college.

“We thank all the customers that have come for all these years to patronize us… but it’s time to move on, I think,” he said. “I think it’s the best thing to do.”