Embargo 62, a Cuban rum bar and cantina that pays homage to the embargo placed on Cuba by former President John F. Kennedy in 1962, will open 53 years later on Chattanooga's North Shore.
The restaurant will open on August 10 with a decor that mixes Cuban artwork and rustic furniture with picnic baskets and mason jars that are more reminiscent of Chattanooga. The location at 301 Cherokee Boulevard was formerly home to Brix Nouveau, a wine and cheese bar operated by Rosabelle Gorman which announced it would close its doors in 2014.
Danny Alcala and Brittany Alcala, co-owners of Embargo 62, have long wanted to bring a Cuban restaurant to Chattanooga. The pair initially made plans in 2012 to open a restaurant in a vacant former club near Miller Plaza, but despite a hopeful "coming soon" banner that hung for months, that deal fell through.
Now, the Miami natives say they're on track to open Embargo 62 with 25 workers on Chattanooga's North Shore, where they'll hawk craft cocktails and traditional cuban fare.
"Because of our own Cuban background we have been looking to open a Cuban restaurant and we are very happy to have chosen the North Shore as the place to do it," said Danny Alcala. "We are most excited about our craft cocktails and we feel this neighborhood and the clientele we will be drawing are ready for and will appreciate the recipes, presentation, and Cuban culture."
Cuban sandwiches are set to be a highlight, the duo said, along with more than 70 different types of rum from around the world. The couple hired mixologist Danny Valdez to create the bar and cocktail menu.
"People will be coming for the traditional Cuban sandwich, which we have perfected," said Brittany Alcala. "From the perfect Cuban bread to the authentic spices, our sandwich rivals what you'd get if you were walking the streets of Cuba."
Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.