The popular Montclair restaurant known as Cocina Candela has recently stated that they will be closing as of December 12th.
One of the only Puerto Rican restaurants in town, Cocina Candela was opened 6 years ago back in 2015. Owner, Kenny Candelaria has explained that the lease will be expiring soon and unfortunately, he has not been able to “see eye to eye” with the current building owners. Because of this, the restaurant will be forced to close once the lease is up in a few weeks.
Candelaria was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Brooklyn. He eventually moved and found a home in Hackensack, NJ. He has explained that the building owners have expressed interest in another business that wants that same location. This comes as an obvious shock as Candelaria has worked hard not only as the head chef, but by also building a friendly community amongst Montclair. He is not ready to leave the town entirely.
In a recent Instagram posted just two days ago, Candelaria notes that although these unforeseen circumstances and difficulties have been hard to deal with, he promises to come back soon and better than ever. He is currently looking for another location to move into either in Montclair or the immediate surrounding towns.
Cocina Candela started off as an empanada restaurant called Fusion that originally opened in Hackensack. The restaurant was only open 6 months before closing. Candelaria then decided to rebrand into the Puerto Rican restaurant Montclair knows today.
The menu consists of traditional plates you won't find anywhere else. It includes appetizers like poached Spanish octopus, crispy cod fritters, and jumbo crabcake. The menu also includes empanadas, soups, salads, and hearty entrees like filet mignon and paella.
Cocina Candela was also known for their excellent brunch menu that includes classics like waffles, french toast, and pancakes plus other delicious breakfast options with a Latin flair. For example, their avocado toast, which includes avocado, poached egg, pickled red onions, and manchengo cheese. For the ultimate in Puerto Rican cuisine, options like the Puerto Rican Tripleta are also available. The sandwich includes slow roasted pork, chicken cutlet, skirt steak, lettuce, tomato, frizzled onions, roasted jalapeno, cheese, mayo, and ketchup atop pan de agua. It also comes served with a side of yuca fries.
To stay updated on all news and happenings regarding when and where Cocina Candela will reopen, you can follow their official Instagram page here.