Verona residents and nearby locals will be saddened to know that the popular Mexican food spot, The Guac Spot, has closed indefinitely. The owners of The Guac Spot, John, and Syl posted on Instagram thanking the community for its support. This Verona eatery was only founded in 2018, but in that time has become a go-to for locals around the area — and despite its recent announcement to close its doors – has a story of inspiration. Read on to learn about The Guac Spot closing, the owners, and what locals did to help the business in a time of crisis.
About The Owners
Owners and married couple John and Syl started The Guac Spot as a pop-up in local street fairs and farmers markets in 2015. They started their food truck in 2017 and only opened their brick-and-mortar restaurant in Verona in December of 2018. When they first opened in Verona, they immediately felt a part of the small-town family. “It was the first time we really found that community vibe” Syl noted. In just over two years at the location, the restaurant has established a name for itself in the local guacamole + foodie game.
“Before I met my husband, I didn’t eat vegetables at all whatsoever. If it grew out of the ground, it was a no for me. When we got together we started cooking together because he is a big foodie, and I grew into the chef, I guess, just from trying to impress him,” Syl said. Their passion to make food only grew from there. When asked specifically about their guacamole, she noted “the recipe has developed over the years but it’s been consistent for the last 4 years. It’s been exactly the same.”
Tragedy Strikes in 2021
On February 4th, 2021, the owners of the Verona-based restaurant, posted on Instagram that their Little Falls home went up in flames and was uninhabitable. They announced they were closing The Guac Spot for a few days until they could figure out their next steps.
According to Syl, they weren’t expecting any acknowledgment, “When I posted about us closing because of the fire it was really just to say ‘we have something going on and that really makes us need to close.”
But, in true community fashion, the town of Verona’s residents weren’t going to let them go through this situation alone. Locals and business owners alike banded together to support John and Syl by setting up GoFundMe pages, restaurants donating a part of their proceeds to the couple, and local clothing businesses donating clothes and rebuilding the logo that was lost in the fire. In just one week, the spot was back in business — though the couple has a long way to go with their home.
View this post on Instagram
The post reads, “There’s literally no way to @ or mention everyone who has and continues to support us through this time…our family is eternally grateful and to say humbled sounds really cliche and almost insincere, but we couldn’t think of a more precise word to express that you guys have helped us understand the meaning of “commUNITY”…that’s HUGE, beyond words…This experience may have left us without a home temporarily, but we know we are “at home” here in #Verona, surrounded by friends, family, and local businesses who care about and support one another when it’s needed most. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU.”
Syl and John were blown away by the support. “…The businesses in town that rallied around us [were] insane, and then customers that donated to this GoFundMe, it was like… I feel like we’re supposed to be providing you guys service, you know. People made donations of what their usual orders are, and it’s nutsy!”
The restaurant was a combo of dine-in and takeout. Aside from guacamole, the restaurant served burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, and other various avocado-related food items. Even the desserts had avocado. That was the point – the whole menu was based on recipes meant to be complemented by guacamole.
For the last post on The Guac Spot’s Instagram, the owners left a message reading, “Thank you so much for your support and loyal patronage. Love, The Guac Spot family.
Other recent closures in the Essex County area include Villalobos, another popular Mexican restaurant in Montclair that closed its doors just days ago, Dem Two Hands boutique, and Wesley Jewelers also shut down.