Award-winning La Hacienda makes an abrupt departure

By Michele Laudig

After months of speculation, the Fairmont Scottsdale's upscale Mexican eatery, La Hacienda, has finally closed.

Although scheduled to be open yesterday, management made an "out of the blue" staff announcement that the decades-old restaurant would not serve dinner after all, says hotel concierge Lara Cosseboom.

"It's gonna be a ripple effect," she says, explaining that both Valley locals and visitors alike will miss the fine dining institution, one of only two Mexican restaurants in North America to receive the prestigious AAA Four Diamond award. It was also a recipiect of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, not to mention numerous local culinary accolades.

There's no official word yet on future plans for the space, although the resort's partnership with nightlife entrepreneurs Randy and Scott Gerber was established earlier this year (they're the team behind the Fairmont's upscale Stone Rose Lounge), with a goal of opening MEXX Kitchen, a collaboration with chef Richard Sandoval, later in 2008.

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