When it opens next Tuesday at The Mall of San Juan, the American Cut Bar & Grill restaurant will become the first of its kind that parent LDV Hospitality opens outside the U.S. mainland, and the flagship for the new concept that will be expanded to other stateside markets in the near future.
Furthermore, it is the first of several brands the company will introduce to Puerto Rico, John Meadow, President of LDV Hospitality, told this media outlet Wednesday.
The New York-city based restaurant group, in partnership with renowned Chef Marc Forgione, designed the 8,000 square-foot restaurant’s menu, which integrates American Cut signature dishes with Puerto Rican additions, Meadow said.
“For LDV Hospitality, whose acronym stands for La Dolce Vita, or the good life, our company values and Puerto Rican culture have a lot in common, since we enjoy celebrating with friends and family,” Meadow said.
“Our new restaurant will be the ideal place for friends and entire families to meet, celebrate life, and enjoy top quality meals at approachable prices,” said Meadow, noting that price points have been set to appeal to a broad segment of consumers, from those looking to have an affordable lunch, to those with more to spend.
This is the first time LDV Hospitality opens a restaurant in a mall, in this case, one owned by Taubman Centers.
“This is a very important deal for us, because this is our first shot at pairing up with people like Taubman, who develop these dynamic lifestyle centers, and we take it very seriously,” Meadow said.
“I feel a better connection to this community than what I’ve seen in a lot of other places. Taubman is the best in this business. The mix of high-end and accessible is very well done here; it’s a misconception to assume that this mall is super-expensive,” he said.
The new eatery is located on the second floor of The Mall of San Juan. It has a 200-seat dining room with an outdoor terrace to accommodate up to 60 guests along with a private dining room equipped with capabilities for up to 30 guests.
To run the restaurant, LDV Hospitality has hired a team of close to 100 people, including Puerto Rican Executive Chef Carlos Pimentel, who has prior experience working for Forgione.
“With our menu at American Cut Bar & Grill, we wanted to showcase our take on American classics while still incorporating local ingredients including ‘yuca,’ plantains, ‘bacalao,’ and ‘chicharrones de cerdo,’ to highlight Puerto Rico’s vibrant cuisine,” said Forgione, who is no stranger to the island, having worked at BLT at the Ritz Carlton in Isla Verde.
Despite the island’s economic condition, Meadow believes that LDV Hospitality’s drive and experience in the dynamic restaurant business will be enough to “go through that wall and make it happen.”
As part of its arrival, the company partnered with veteran restaurateur Julio Canales to bring in his experience of the Puerto Rico market to restaurant and the team.
Canales, who is collaborating in the opening of another mall tenant — BRIO Tuscan Grille — next week, confirmed that he will be working with LDV Hospitality to bring another one of its brands, Corso Coffee. The Italian-style coffee bar is slated to open in mid-January, at The Mall of San Juan’s first level.