Cuba Libre To Open On September 17th

Photo courtesy of
‘Cuba Street Sign’
courtesy of ‘Khirol Amir’

The embargo is officially over: Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar will open its doors on September 17th in Penn Quarter. With outposts in Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Orlando, the restaurant’s Washington opening marks a highly anticipated (and oft-delayed) addition to the city’s dining scene.

The restaurant’s 200-seat dining room will evoke Havana’s 1950’s golden age, placing guests in what will feel like a tropical outdoor courtyard. While the design takes a page from the past, the cuisine is all nuevo Cubano. Think lunchtime Cuban Bento Boxes, shareable tasting plates and flights of (sustainable!) ceviche. The menu – developed specifically for DC by the chain’s Concept Chef Guillermo Pernot – will pay culinary homage to the island’s African, Creole, Asian and native Tainos influences. If you’re more focused on the “Rum Bar” portion of the restaurant’s name, never fear: as Jenn reported back in January, the restaurant is known for its 75 varieties of rum and countless other cocktails.

To celebrate the restaurant’s opening, Cuba Libre will be offering 50% off its dinner menu from September 17th through 23rd. From September 24th through 30th, you can still enjoy 25% discounts before full prices kick in on October 1st. It’s the restaurant’s way of thanking patrons for their patience as they work out the kinks and settle into their groove.

Cuba Libre is located at 801A 9th Street NW. Closest Metro stop: Gallery Place/Chinatown (Green, Yellow, Red lines). For more information, call (202) 408-1600.

Rebecca Gross

Raised in nearby MoCo, Rebecca happily jumped the District line in 2005. When not stuck behind a computer, she can be found exploring the city’s many wonders, usually with her trusty canine sidekick Jasper Jones. Questions, comments, concerns? Email her at RebeccaGross (at)

7 thoughts on “Cuba Libre To Open On September 17th

  1. You have got to be kidding! To you the 1950’s, when Batista’s goons were butchering the Cuban people on a daily basis was a “golden age”?

    During this “golden age” the United States government never went before an international organization to condemn the crimes of the Cuban dictator, who enjoyed the support of the U.S.

  2. As a huge fan of both the original Philly and AC locations, I can’t wait for this to open. Cuban cuisine leaves a few things to be desired in my humble opinion, but Cuba Libre has served me some of the best mojitos I’ve ever had. Anyone somehow *not* looking forward to this place needs to get their head examined. :-)

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  4. YESSS! Been waiting for Cuba Libre to open in DC! Enjoyed several delightful dinners in Atlantic City this past summer, including our daughter’s 21st birthday celebration! Great food, ambiance.

  5. American corporations from Cuban soil the culprit for Cuba’s problems, come on. Yeah, let’s just conclude that according to such egomaniac and his fan club of apologetic imbeciles the logic is a simple one, EVERYTHING is the fault of USA. If the USA is culprit of one thing regarding Cuba is the fact that they left such communist cancer alone for 51 years and nothing more.

    You have to love, no, let’s put the sarcasm aside, rather detest the shameless communist from “CubaJournal” which says the 1950s were not Cuba’s golden era. This is then followed by the typical, absurd, and oh so old rhetoric of demonizing Batista, and trading partner USA, in an attempt to justify the unjustifiable – Castro’s subsequent, fraudulent, and criminal destruction of the Cuban republic.

    Of course it was Cuba’s golden era and everyone knows it till this very day, specially when contrasted with what followed. Even communists know that everything that is today worthy of seeing in Cuba is the remanding shadow of its capitalistic past and boy do the shameless termites love to cash on it despite all the big trash they speak. Not only was it the biggest, most developed, architecturally admirable, and vivid nation in Caribbean (and by far) it had the largest middle class per-capita of all Latin America with a standard of living on par with Argentina and many European nations.

    Now Batista. Was Batista corrupt? Yes. Did he steal an election? Yes. Yet, that never meant that he implanted a totalitarian regime over the republic, that Cuban civil society was destroyed, that the Cuban republic froze, that Cubans had to drown themselves at sea in desperate search of freedom, etc. In fact, right up to the late 50’s Cuba was a nation still absorbing immigration. Batista was simply one that stole an election with the help of military connections like many others across Latin America (and Cuba prior to him). He did not implant a “system” nor destroyed Cuba and its progress, all the contrary.

    Aside from his unorthodox ways; truth be told, Batista was a money savvy man that did more for Cuba’s growth in his 6 years than Castro in 51. Till this day Havana’s under water tunnels, its tallest buildings, its newest roads, biggest hotels, largest exports/imports, and sights of foreign investments were mostly those done during Batista’s years.

    Plus, American support of Batista my as*, that is another lie. Americans were in it for the money Cuba represented as an attractive, friendly, and productive nation just 90 miles away. They stupidly back-stabbed Bastista and placed an arms embargo on his military in 1958 despite his constant claims that Castro’s movement was truly a communist one backed by the Soviet Union.

    Granted, Castro gained power constantly denying he was a communist and promising the reestablishment of Cuba’s electoral system (among everything Cubans wanted to hear). The Cuban population never supported Castro for the sake of a slavish, fraudulent, economically inept, destructive, and sect-like Stalinist regime.

    Anyhow, now that you are all wet with the history of the place, let’s go eat. But back in time that is, because just like communism, not even the food found in modern day communist Cuba is worth crap.