AN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Three awful things happened back to back to Santurce architect and restaurateur Bryan Torres this summer that he believes underscore Puerto Rico’s deteriorating economic situation. He arrived at work one morning to learn his restaurant had been robbed. A few hours later, a neighbor and regular customer hanged herself in the stairwell. Then he learned the building he rented for his business was being repossessed.
“We are living the crisis at it unfolds,” said Torres, who closed the restaurant at the end of July. But unlike the more than 50,000 residents the island has been losing annually in recent years, Torres isn’t leaving Puerto Rico or even Santurce. Instead he’s moving to a cheaper, smaller location in a rougher part of the neighborhood.