December 6, 2023
The brand new Havana Grill location in Mission Valley. Photograph by Luis Monteagudo Jr.

Seven years in the past, San Diegan Sandra Cardet determined to open a Cuban restaurant in Clairemont Mesa based mostly on recipes handed down amongst her household.

The restaurant turned so successful that this weekend she and her son, Alexander Vara, opened a brand new outlet of the restaurant on the Westfield Mission Valley mall.

“Rising up, my mom Sandra’s Cuban meals was the perfect I ever had, and I all the time puzzled why no different Cuban restaurant tasted pretty much as good as house, stated Vara. “So, seven years in the past we determined to open the primary Havana Grill in Clairemont Mesa and feed our neighborhood.”

“Our recipes have been handed down for generations and we’re actually happy with the truth that we’re a household run, genuine Cuban restaurant in San Diego.”

Though the Mission Valley website has been open for a couple of weeks, the grand opening was Saturday, drawing a crowd that was handled to free champagne samples, $5 passionfruit mimosas and $5 mojitos for the opening. 

Vara stated the household had been scouting for a brand new location for a very long time when their business realtor advised them that the mall was on the lookout for a  native San Diego restaurant, not a series.

“I’ve been going to that mall since I used to be a child to look at motion pictures on the AMC so I used to be actually excited in regards to the alternative to be invited to open our second location at such a preferred landmark,” he stated. “They’ve been nice to work with and we’re actually pleased with the placement.”

The restaurant is situated on the Camino de la Reina facet of the mall, and boasts an open air really feel,  sidewalk eating and a bar.

The enlargement might need been seen as a danger by some contemplating the robust going many eating places have had throughout and after the pandemic.

However Vara stated Havana Grill weathered the pandemic and was able to increase.

“Our takeout and supply orders went by means of the roof as an increasing number of folks craved healthful consolation meals,” he stated. “We truly broke gross sales information through the pandemic due to the unimaginable help we acquired from our neighborhood and the unprecedented demand for takeout.  Even now our takeout orders proceed to make up for as much as 40% of our gross sales.”

The success of the Cuban restaurant bucks the development in a spot extra identified for Mexican meals. Through the years, San Diego has seen small Cuban eating places come and go. The preferred one was Andre’s, a Morena Boulevard that lasted greater than 30 years till it closed final September.

Prospects at Havana Grill will encounter Cuban consolation meals like ropa vieja, picadillo and Cuban sandwiches. However the Mission Valley website has a bigger pastry choice than the Clairemont location, that includes such objects as Chocolate Torte and Guava Cheesecake.

“Mission Valley has additionally been in dire want of artisan and craft desserts and cocktails for some time now, so we’re tremendous excited to fill that void and provides folks and alternative to bask in an immersive Cuban expertise at our new location,” stated Vara.