I used to read Archie and Condorito comics, always on a bike or on foot, never in a stretch limousine. Never did I picture myself owning or running a restaurant at the age of 30, nor did it ever occur to me I would end up making a living as a chef until...
For me, part of the inspiration for Cueva Bar Café started taking shape around 2007 when Jo and I lived in Virginia and a restaurant called Clementine opened in downtown Harrisonburg. What used to be called Main Street at one point turned into this Restaurant with a mix of bright and warm inside decor that had a stage for a wide variety of artists to share their music, as well as a basement that turned into a lounge with comfy couches, darker tones and a whole different set of tunes--loungy, punk, jazzy, sometimes old bluegrass tunes. (Fun fact: I myself took part in a show at Clementine put together by my friend Alex right before moving to the west coast on a cold winter November night. It was also in that basement I became familiar with the Arrogant Bastard for the first time. Talking about first impressions! )
The seed continued to grow and my second inspiration came during a date night I had with Jo a while later in Charlottesville Virginia. I remember it was a kind of chilly night in Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall before we went to enjoy a Cirque Du Soleil show. If I remember correctly, it was mid-fall of 2009. I wanted to have some mushrooms for dinner before the show, but instead, I had some other dishes at a tapas place that I’ve forgotten the name of. I tried to find this small
Spanish spot in Old Town Charlottesville online with no luck. That area filled with red brick buildings has been developing so much. The idea of opening an eatery was already beginning to sprout in my mind. I’ve always wanted to start a business, that much I knew. The being a chef idea was brought in by an uncle who had offered in the past, twice, to pay for me to go to a culinary school in France. Both times I declined the offer. As an adult, both family and friends kept trying to encourage me to open a restaurant but back then living in Virginia I didn’t think I could make it as a chef or that it was the right time.