Above: The door to the Gypsy Wolf Cantina. Photo by Flickr user satemkemet.
Every year since 1989, the sign in front of the Gypsy Wolf Cantina in the Ulster County town of Woodstock has changed. One year, a stylized wolf howled at the moon. Another, a terrifying lupine face growled in closeup. Eric Brown, a local artist, has painted 25 different signs for the restaurant over the years. But this year's edition is the last.
The local Mexican restaurant, owned by Bill Durkin and Jorge Perez, is closing on Sunday, Dec. 28. The business partners have sold the two-acre property on which the restaurant sits to their next-door neighbors. Now they plan to take some time off.
"My partner and I have been doing this for 25 years here, and ten years before that in New York City," Durkin said. "We’re going to take a break. I love the food; I can’t say enough about it. It’s just part of our lives, and personally, we’re going to miss that. That’s not to say we’re not going to see it again."
The enormous portions of enchiladas, burritos, and black bean soup with delicous tiny corn balls called masitas will be missed in Woodstock. So will the cantina's eccentric decorations--in addition to the signs from previous years, the interior features a painting of Durkin behind the bar by artist Joe Fig and an enormous lizard sculpture clinging to the ceiling.
All that will go into storage, Durkin said. He and Perez are running an ad in this week's Woodstock Times to thank their patrons of many years:
"Through our doors and into our lives and our hearts came many many good people," he said. "We wish all you well and peace and the new year. Muchas gracias."