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Cuba Libre restaurant opening in Plaza Las Américas still on, despite delay

Philadelphia-based Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, which was slated to open in Plaza Las Américas last month, will still make its debut in Puerto Rico, but with a delay of about a year, this media outlet confirmed.

The construction and opening of Cuba Libre San Juan, a GuestCounts Hospitality LLC brand, was set back by the COVID-19 pandemic, Barry Gutin, principal of GuestCounts Hospitality, confirmed.

“Although delayed by factors related to the pandemic, we’re still excited to develop Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar at Plaza Las Américas. It’s likely to be delayed by about a year, though [the] exact timing is not yet determined,” Gutin said, in response to questions from this media outlet.

This is the second time the arrival of the restaurant to Puerto Rico has been delayed, as plans to open a free-standing eatery were in the works before Hurricane María hit in 2017, as this media outlet reported.

“The agreement is still in place, although delayed. We don’t have a new opening date yet,” said Plaza Las Américas Spokeswoman Lorraine Vissepó said.

When completed, Cuba Libre San Juan is expected to have seating capacity for 290 patrons.

According to the company’s website, the chain currently has locations in Philadelphia — where it made its debut in the year 2,000 — Atlantic City, Washington, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, which is being announced as “coming soon.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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