One Of Collingswood's Oldest Restaurants Closes: 'Hard But Good Decision'

The Tortilla Press, one of the oldest restaurants in Collingswood, has shuttered after two decades in business.

The Tortilla Press
The Tortilla Press Photo Credit: The Tortilla Press Facebook (with permission)

The BYOB Mexican eatery at 703 Haddon Ave.  announced last weekend's sudden closing on Facebook.

Mark Smith and his wife, Lydia Cipriani, took over the former home of the Collingswood Family Restaurant in 2002. Their other restaurant, The Tortilla Press Cantina in Pennsauken remains open.

The couple decided to close the Collingswood restaurant due to rising labor and food costs after the COVID-19 pandemic, Cipriani said,

"It was a hard decision but ultimately a good one,'' she said.

Collingswood is a dry town and the restaurant wasn't able to meet its profit margin solely on food sales, Cipriani said.

"We never really recovered from the pandemic," she said. "The pandemic tightened everyone's drawstrings so to speak."

The second eatery, which does serve alcohol, remains open at 7716 Maple Ave. in Pennsauken.

Smith announced this week on Facebook: "We have closed our Tortilla Press restaurant in Collingswood and my wife and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our friends, guests and neighbors for 21 wonderful years!"

Smith's Facebook post attracted more than 150 comments from loyal customers, many of whom expressed relief that the second restaurant remains open.

Pat Ciervo said, "Thank you for helping ignite the restaurant scene in Collingswood and for your service to the community."

And Nancy Vuotto-Papaccio wrote: "My husband, our kids, and I celebrated many birthdays, good report cards, and just because days in Collingswood with you. Thank you for the wonderful meals and happy memories. We are thrilled the Cantina remains. All the best to you and Lydia."

The Pennsauken eatery is open Tuesdays through Fridays from noon to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 856-356-2050 for reservations.

"The (Pennsauken) restaurant's very successful," Cipriani said. "It's very crowded."

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