Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Orlando – now DC will get its own taste of Old Havana when Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar opens at 9th & H Streets NW this May. I’m particularly excited by this news as Cuba Libre is known for its large rum selection featuring over 75 Latin American varieties. Will this mean that the naysayers who are calling for the death of the mojito will be proven wrong? We’ll see, as Cuba Libre is also known for this summery cocktail with 15 variations to choose from… at the very least, I’ll be happy to sip a Cafe Cubano after dinner!
The food menu will be overseen by Chef Partner Guillermo Pernot, 2002 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Concept chef for the Cuba Libre restaurants since 2006, he’s said to be inspired to create dishes as if Castro had never come to power. Indeed, that pretty much sums up the restaurant’s concept – to celebrate 1950’s Old Havana in every way.
The design sounds potentially very sexy crazy, promising an “open-air, movie-set Old Havana” with a streetscape of Spanish Moorish and French Colonial buildings, balconies, and a sidewalk cafe. And yes, there will be a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights with performances by professional salsa dancers as well as open dancing for patrons. Hmm… relaxing tropical brunch? hot date night? I’m definitely intrigued to see a bit of Havana in DC come May. Have you visited the other locations? Let us know what you think.