BRICKELL (CBSMiami) — A new restaurant to open in Brickell glorifies Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and communism, and Miamians say they don’t want to be part of it.
“Do you think when Cafe Habana gets here they’ll be served a plate of humble pie?” CBS4 News asked a Brickell resident.
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Antonio Serbia offered a simple answer: “Certainly!”
Forget corn and other so-called Cuban-Mexican dishes on the menu. Before even tasting anything on its menu, Cafe Habana has already left a bad taste in the mouths of Miamians.
“Miami history 101, you would know not to promote anything pro-Castro or pro-Che Guevara – and they did,” exclaimed Ronnie Overman.
“It’s a slap in the face for Cubans, it’s tone deaf, it’s insulting, you’re just trying to take advantage of it, it’s blatant,” Miami influencer Josue said with an Instagram page called to aptly, “What Joshua Said.”
Cafe Habana, with locations in New York, Malibu and Tokyo, is set to open in Brickell this spring. But, before its move to the Magic City, the restaurant used its own magic to erase its origin story like a set of dirty dishes.
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“The fact that they changed their description right before Miami opened, it seems, you know what you’re doing, you’re just trying to capitalize on the movement that there is now in Miami,” added Josue.
The restaurant no longer boasts of having been “inspired by a legendary meeting place in Mexico City, where legend has it that Che Guevara and Fidel Castro plotted the Cuban revolution”.
In fact, it’s a piece of history most Cubans wish had never existed, much like the mural of famous rapper Biggie Smalls dressed as a commander on the side of the New York location.
“It’s really a shame that they don’t know the city in which they are setting up their restaurant,” Serbia said.
“I just think there are unforgivable mistakes and in Miami, this is one of them,” Overman concluded.
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CBS4 News called and emailed Cafe Habana with no response.