La India Taina Puerto Rican restaurant closes permanently

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Johanna de Jesus and her daughter, Harianys de Jesus, stand in the dining area of their new Puerto Rican restaurant on Thursday, Feb. 18, at La India Taina in Sioux Falls.
Johanna de Jesus and her daughter, Harianys de Jesus, stand in the dining area of their new Puerto Rican restaurant on Thursday, Feb. 18, at La India Taina in Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls' only Puerto Rican restaurant's last day open will be Sunday, owners say.

La India Taina was started by mother Johanna and daughter Harianys De Jesus less than a year ago in northern Sioux Falls, serving traditional Puerto Rican foods and flavors.

The closure comes after staffing the restaurant with just the two of them since they opened March 2021, Johanna said.

The restaurant has struggled to find staff like other businesses during the workforce shortage, and it's taken a toll of Johanna, she said. She also had to close the restaurant for nearly two weeks recently because she got COVID, she added.

"Prices have gone up for meat and everything, too," Johanna said. "We were doing pretty good, and I can't complain about our customers who were fun and great, but it's just too much for one person and then my daughter in the afternoon."

The restaurant served meals such as mofongo, which is mashed plantains mixed with meat, seafood or vegetables; tripleta sandwiches, a specialty pork, chicken and beef sweet roll sandwich with potato strings and vegetables; and Puerto Rican pinchos, which are grilled kabobs made with pork.

A dish of mofongo and shrimp
A dish of mofongo and shrimp

More: Secret Fork: Exciting flavors can be found at La India Tiana

La India Taina's hours for the rest of the week are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

Johanna said she appreciates the people who supported the restaurant and loved interacting with new customers. It's just time to take a break.

"I don't feel like a failure," Johanna said. "I appreciate the support and the love they gave us."

Johanna plans to sell the restaurant supplies and equipment after closing. While she is taking a break from owning a restaurant, she hopes to return to the food scene with an express-style restaurant model eventually.

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Sioux Falls Puerto Rican restaurant La India Taina to close

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