Fire damage will keep Las Palmas closed until late spring, 2022.

One of the saddest pieces of business news we heard recently was that a 20-minute kitchen fire had closed Las Palmas Latin Grill, located in the same plaza as Five Guys Burgers & Fries and LA Fitness at County Line Rd. and Bruce B. Downs Blvd. 

Owner/chef Ramses Garcia says that although there is no definitive time line for Las Palmas to reopen, he estimates at least 5-7 months. At our press time, Ramses said that the cause of the Oct. 11 fire was not yet known and that he’s thankful that no one was injured.

In the meantime, there is some good news, as Ramses announced on his Facebook page he will soon be serving his popular Cuban sandwiches (and other dishes) from a food truck.

“I have some good news…I have purchased a food truck to hold us until the insurance company decides when are they going to release funds for the cleanup and rebuild,” Ramses wrote. “The plaza landlord has given me permission to place the truck in the parking lot of the restaurant for the time being.”

Ramses doesn’t have an exact date for the debut of the food truck, but said it is already registered with the DBPR (Department of Business and Professional Regulation) and the Division of Hotel and Restaurants.

“I’ll keep you posted of updates as we get close to open,” Ramses wrote. “I’m really trying hard to have this done as quick as I can. I probably look at 15-20 trucks before I picked these one. The truck is in “the bag” and soon ready to serve those awesome Cubans we make for the best customers in my world… my Tampa peeps!”

One of his customers, Cynthia Havard, started a GoFundMe page to help Ramses rebuild, and if you want to help out, CLICK HERE.

Also at our press time, Las Palmas was either leading or in second place among our readers’ Favorite Latin Restaurant and in the top-10 for Favorite Restaurant of any kind in New Tampa, so obviously, a lot of people are unhappy that it has had to close, even if it’s just temporarily. — GN

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