May 31, 2024

Alma Fonda Fina’s Curiel to open eatery in ex-Masas space in Boulder

BOULDER — Denver chef and restaurateur Johnny Curiel of Alma Fonda Fina plans to open a Mexican eatery on Walnut Street in downtown Boulder in the space briefly occupied by Masas, a Oaxacan concept that told its followers on social media this week that it was closing after about a year in business. 

“After an incredible year serving the Boulder community, we have officially closed our doors. While it’s bittersweet, we are delighted to announce that Chef Johnny Curiel of Alma Fonda Fina in Denver will be taking over the space to bring his beloved Mexican cuisine to Boulder,” the Instagram post said in part. 

Curiel’s Alma Fonda Fina concept in Denver’s Lower Highlands neighborhood made headlines this spring when the chef and his wife and business partner, Kasie Curiel, were sued by Lotus Concepts, operator of the My Neighbor Felix chain of Mexican restaurants. The lawsuit claimed that the couple, who previously worked in leadership roles at My Neighbor Felix, violated a non-compete clause in their contracts when they left to open Alma Fonda Fina. 

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The dispute, according to a Denver Post report, was settled out of court. 

Kasie Curiel will not be a part of the Boulder outpost, while Johnny Curiel said on social media that he will split his time between the Boulder and Denver eateries.“It feels like kismet to open a new restaurant in Boulder,” Johnny Curiel wrote in a post on Alma Fonda Fina’s Instagram page. “I fell in love with the Boulder community during my time at Centro Mexican Kitchen. While the final menu and name are still in development, our mission remains to share authentic Mexican food and culture with Colorado communities.”

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