Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale has always had a certain charm, filled with unique boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.
News Flash! It’s not your parent’s Las Olas Blvd. anymore! The famed boulevard is undergoing a drastic metamorphosis and has a new energy and vibe that is thriving.
Earlier this month SouthFloridaReporter.com attended the official Grand Opening of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar and for a moment in time, we were transported a mere 250 miles away to Havana, Cuba.
Based upon the past two weeks; Las Olas Blvd. has a winner on its hands. Located at 800 East Las Olas Boulevard, (formerly a men’s haberdashery establishment) Cuba Libre is open for dinner Monday through Sunday (4 p.m. to 11 p.m.), with bar hours extending to midnight each day. Additionally, there’s a “Happy Hour” from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
“We are very excited to finally be opening our doors,” said Barry Gutin, Principal and Co-Founder, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar. “While the pandemic crisis delayed us a bit, we’re now ready to offer South Florida a ‘window’ to the island of Cuba through an energetic and transportive environment.”
The culinary program at Cuba Libre Fort Lauderdale is being led by two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef-Partner, Guillermo Pernot. While the restaurant’s design will reflect the distinctive Old Havana district, its menus will reflect the cuisine served today in Cuban paladares throughout the island.
“This is not traditional Cuban cuisine,” Chef Pernot explains. “Our menu is a representation of what is being served in Cuba right now. Very few restaurants in the world are doing modern style Cuban cuisine.”
“Our carefully crafted menu combines beef, poultry, pork and seafood with tropical fruits, root vegetables, herbs and seasonings, creating attractive options for meat-eaters and vegetarians,” Pernot said.
Cuba Libre Fort Lauderdale is the fifth location for the brand, which was first opened 20 years ago in Philadelphia by Gutin, co-founder Larry Cohen and Pernot. Next came Atlantic City, Orlando, and Washington, D.C. “We had many options and Fort Lauderdale is the perfect fit for us,” Gutin said.
Cuba Libre Fort Lauderdale was designed by Barker Nestor Architecture and thematic designers Artisan Industry of Columbia, Tennessee. The general contractor was RCC Associates of Deerfield Beach.
Covering 9,200 interior square feet with seating for 250, the restaurant features dramatic interior and exterior themes. The centerpiece of the restaurant is its exhibition-style wood-burning Latin Grill & Chef’s Counter.
Reservations are available by calling (954) 314-6500 or by accessing Cuba Libre Fort Lauderdale Reservations. Through the restaurant’s website (Cuba Libre Fort Lauderdale), there are also options for delivery, take out and curbside pickup.
The restaurant is also hosting a job fair and has immediate openings.
“All of Cuba Libre’s general managers and executive chefs have been promoted from within, with many rising through the ranks from hourly positions. With our company’s accelerating growth, there will continue to be advancement opportunities,” said Guitin.
Restaurant back of house and front of house positions that are available include butcher, kitchen prep, pantry, line cook, exhibition grill cook, fry cook, dishwasher, sous chef, server, food and drink runner, busser and host.
To apply online candidates should visit here for a full listing of open positions.
WHAT: Job Fair
WHEN: Monday, April 26
TIME: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
WHERE: Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
800 E Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
About Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar opened in Philadelphia in 2000, Atlantic City in 2004, Orlando in 2008, and Washington, D.C. in 2010 to much critical acclaim, providing guests with a passport to Cuba’s intriguing flavors and cuisine. The restaurant’s name, which translates to “a free Cuba,” signifies hope for the future of the treasured island nation.
Two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot’s menus feature tantalizing tastes that reflect Cuba’s culinary traditions, as well as the emerging modern cuisine that he is experiencing during his continuing travels to Cuba.
The business is poised for expansion into new markets. Cuba Libre Fort Lauderdale is the company’s fifth location, which will be followed by Cuba Libre San Juan (2022). Principals Barry Gutin and Larry Cohen bring a unique combination of hospitality and expertise to each of their projects and have been partners in the hospitality business since 1995.
For more information, please visit www.cubalibrerestaurant.com.