Longtime restaurant to close as owners look forward to spending time with family

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Tapas is what Terra Nostra is known for.

And it’s that small dish style eating that set them apart from other restaurants when they first opened in the North Shore.

“At the time not everybody knew about, at least here in Chattanooga and it took a little bit for people to start knowing and accepting, you know, the idea,”owner Efren Ormaza said.

Professional chefs Efren and Gema Ormaza opened the restaurant in 2002.

And, after a long run of 17 years the couple has decided to close the business to spend more time with their children and two grandchildren.

“I am very thankful of course, we, of the Chattanooga community that had supported us all these years,” Ormaza said.

“The owners have always done a very good job with everything that they do. She’s a pastry chef. He’s a gourmet chef. They’re their recipes. Everything is always made exactly the same everyday. Always high quality,” server of 17 years Grace Abbott said.

Before the Ormaza’s opened the restaurant they lived in Ecuador.

They moved to the U.S. in 1998.

Around 10 years ago they started the Penipe Foundation to help people in Ecuador in need.

“Ecuador is a poor country and I decided to give back a little bit from what I got here. As I said it has been amazing. It has been an amazing opportunity for me which I am very thankful,” Ormaza said.

Ormaza explained that what’s made their restaurant be successful for so many years is their tapas and their background as professional chefs.

The restaurant’s final serving day is July 6th.

Before then they are having two events.

“A Leg for Bernabe” Fundraiser will be on April 24th from 6p to 9p.

The event raises money for medical supplies to provide a prosthetic leg for Bernabe.

Efren will make his next Penipe Foundation medical mission trip to Ecuador in May.

Terra Nostra Thanks Chattanooga will be on July 2nd from 6p to 9p.

There will be complementary champagne and hor d’ouevres.

They will also be selling art, furniture, and pieces from the restaurant

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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