The entertainment center receives the spirit of adventure and folklore in the new gastronomic proposal.
The holiday season known as “Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon” is a period of Mexican tradition that begins on December 12, date that commemorates the Virgin of Guadalupe, and ends on Three Kings Day. It entails multiple festivals of folklore and joy, and that is the spirit that will prevail all year long at the new gastronomic proposal of El Distrito, the restaurant Lupe Reyes, announced Abelardo Ruiz, general manager of the entertainment complex.
“Lupe Reyes is the result of an alliance that PRISA Group, developer of El Distrito, has made with brothers Alfonso and Alessandro Salvatore, experienced Mexican entrepreneurs recognized in the local culinary industry. Since the conceptualization of El Distrito we have highlighted our commitment to offer authentic experiences where locals actively participate in their development. Lupe Reyes is an example of how we have joined forces with local entrepreneurs who know Puerto Rican taste and are committed to offering experiences that satisfy the taste of our people,” Ruiz said.
The new restaurant Lupe Reyes will accommodate 170 diners, while having outdoor space that will give access to the center of the large Plaza Central of El Distrito. One of the focal elements of this gastronomic proposal will be the Volky Taco Truck in the Plaza Central. This novelty refers to the Volkswagen pickups seen in Mexico, and will serve tacos, beers and margaritas for those who have little time or prefer to eat in a casual setting.
For his part, Alfonso Salvatore spoke about his Mexican roots, which explains the origin of Lupe Reyes. “We are food lovers since our youth. From a very young age, we experienced the taste of traditional dishes in Mexico and in Italy. Since the age of 20, we worked in the gastronomic industry and acquired a lot of experience. In 2015, we founded Acapulco Taquería Mexicana, on the remains of a tin workshop. Over the years and throughout our experiences in various companies, we turned up with Lupe Reyes“.
Lupe Reyes is the beginning of a new stage for these young entrepreneurs, in which they will put all their experiences to the success of this unique global entertainment center. This innovative project is a tribute to the culture and mysticism that surrounds the patron saint of Mexico, the Virgin of Guadalupe, the festivities and joy, while celebrating the most traditional elements of Mexican food.
“Mexican and Puerto Rican food, both, are essential parts of the great Latin American culture. We started on Calle Loíza and have been part of the community for five years, participating in its cultural events. Our support for the local entrepreneur and farmers has been constant, that is why we were pleased with the decision of El Distrito and PRISA Group to focus on the development of unique concepts, operated by local groups like ours, in their international scope project. Lupe Reyes and El Distrito have a lot to offer this beautiful island,” said Alessandro Salvatore, chef and restaurant operator.
Lupe Reyes will occupy approximately 3,500 square feet on the first floor of El Distrito, with panoramic view of the great Central Plaza and will generate about 50 direct jobs. “In addition to creating jobs, Lupe Reyes is a brand fully created and conceptualized as a team by PRISA Group together with the Salvatore brothers, with a group of talented Puerto Ricans, including Architect Hans Moll as Experience Architect of the concept and Grupo Buena Vibra in the development of the brand’s identity. This allows us the opportunity to create multiple locations elsewhere, which would result in a greater economic impact for the Island while we please the palate of the local and visiting clients”, Ruiz explained.
The Salvatore brothers explained that the name Lupe Reyes is born from the reference to a Mexican tradition called Guadalupe Reyes, which runs from December 12th to January 6th . “It is one of those cultural moments that generates expectation and joy in the hearts of many. We want Lupe Reyes to inspire that same spirit of adventure, folklore, and mysticism all year round,” said the restaurant’s Chef and Operator.
He explained, “The culinary offer will focus on the traditional dishes of Mexico including gastronomic proposals that one does not usually see outside the country. We are going to introduce dishes that embellished the kitchen of our childhood. We want our tacos to be protagonists, and our cuisine the altar in which we transform fresh and local ingredients into a product of unique delicacy”.
Abelardo Ruiz added that the restaurant has a design known as “bar forward”. At Lupe Reyes, diners will immerse in the culinary experience by being part of the action of the cuisine, the taco trumpet ‘al Pastor’, the freshness and authenticity of the Mexican food and drink. Here, diners can witness the process of hand-making tortillas, and cutting the meat from the trumpet to make the iconic Tacos al Pastor, and watch fresh–squeezed Margaritas in action.
“We must emphasize that we are very proud of the inspiration and all the details involved in Lupe Reyes, visualized, conceptualized, and executed 100% by Puerto Ricans and for locals and visitors. Another proof that local talent and passion can create world-caliber concepts,” said El Distrito General Manager.
Although the tradition of Guadalupe Reyes is not popular on the Island, venerating The Virgin of Guadalupe has deep roots in Puerto Rico. Proof of that is there are three churches that bear this name, located in Caguas, Ponce and San Juan. In 1692, the Ponce chapel became a Parish, and this year coincides with the foundation of this southern city. Since 1965, every December 12th thousands of people sing “Las Mañanitas” to the Virgin of Guadalupe, before sunrise. Venerating Our Lady goes beyond tradition, for many believe in her miracles.
Lupe Reyes seeks to celebrate this tradition with respect for a culture very tied to Puerto Rico. Operators assured that, through this new restaurant at El Distrito, they will continue to “encourage our love of good food, in Lupe Reyes, which has a chance to reach other parts of the island and outside. Our management is strongly inspired by the support of our customers, both local and international, so we are fully engaged on this concept developed by PRISA Group”, added the Salvatore brothers.
Ruiz explained that El Distrito represents a radical change in Puerto Rico’s entertainment environment, tailoring offers of global trends. “The concepts we are developing expand the entertainment offer and diversifies the tourist attractions of the Island. Locally and internationally, El Distrito is marketed as an entertainment destination, a daily party to celebrate our culture by mixing music, flavors and emotions through authentic experiences.”
El Distrito is a project conceived and developed by PRISA Group, with the participation of McConnell Valdés Consulting. Developed at a cost of $170 million, it is due to open during the first quarter of 2020 and will generate over a thousand jobs once in full operation.
For his part, Federico Stubbe, Jr., president of PRISA Group emphasized his pride in, “supporting young restauranteurs as talented as the Salvatore brothers, who have earned the respect of the industry and the customers they serve. Because of this, we are betting on their ability to make Lupe Reyes an iconic place in the local entertainment industry.”
El Distrito will be an innovative global entertainment center, representing the Puerto Rican’s energetic, tasty and cheerful spirit. “In its development and operation we have put our stakes on unique concepts, young entrepreneurs and innovative and proven operators. It is a demonstration of who we are, of how we live. This project reflects what we are as a people. El Distrito is a scene for unfolding everything authentic and varied that makes us different,” concluded Stubbe Jr.