La Contenta Opens Second Restaurant in the West Village

Luis Arce-Mota and Alex Valencia of La Contenta.

Luis Arce-Mota and Alex Valencia of La Contenta.

Since its opening in 2015 at 102 Norfolk St., La Contenta has consistently served up some of the best food and cocktails on the Lower East Side, in a warm and welcoming space. As many other locally-run spots shuttered, this authentic Mexican restaurant has thrived. So we were happy to hear that co-owners Luis Arce-Mota and Alex Valencia have taken the next big step: opening a second location.

La Contenta Oeste just opened for business on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 11th Street, where French Roast used to be located (the brasserie closed down over the summer).

If you’ve frequented La Contenta on the LES, you know it’s a tiny spot and there’s often a wait for a table. The Greenwich Village outpost is a lot bigger. If you’re planning to go out with a larger group, the new location is your best bet. There are also some new items on both the food and drink menus.

Arce-Mota moved from Mexico to the Lower East Side in 1992, and has been living with his wife, Lisa, in the Seward Park Cooperative ever since. He previously ran a couple of different restaurants in the West Village. Valencia is the cocktail mastermind, having worked at a number of popular bars, including the Flatiron Room and Yerba Buena.

La Contenta Oeste is located at 78 West 11th St.

La Contenta Owner Luis Arce Mota Talks About a “Day Without Immigrants”

Luis Arce Mota. Photo by Alex M. Smith, 2015.

Luis Arce Mota. Photo by Alex M. Smith, 2015.

Several Lower East Side restaurants participated in yesterday’s, “A Day Without Immigrants,” a protest of Donald Trump’s policies and vitriol. One local business that attracted a lot of national attention for its decision to close for the day was Norfolk Street’s La Contenta.

Co-owner Luis Arce-Mota talked to several news organizations about his decision to take part in the national boycott. A sign posted in the window of the restaurant read, “We stand 100% with our team.” Mota told the Associated Press, “Everyone in the restaurant is an immigrant, so we have a duty to close.”  He added, “Without them we are nothing.”

La Contenta opened two years ago at 102 Norfolk St. In an interview with The Lo-Down in 2015, Mota talked about his roots. Originally from Mazatlán, Mexico, he moved to this country in 1992. Mota, a longtime resident of the Seward Park Cooperative, is now an American citizen.

You can watch the AP interview below and, by all means, pay a visit to La Contenta if you haven’t already. It’s a great restaurant, one of our favorites in the neighborhood.

Just Another Night on Norfolk Street: A Spiritual Cleansing Ceremony at La Contenta

La Contenta Begins Weekend Brunch, Weekday Happy Hour

La Contenta, a Homestyle Mexican Cafe, Eyeing Saro Space

A veteran restaurateur is aiming to take over the tiny Balkan bistro at 102 Norfolk St.