After two years of delays, Alberto Cabrera has found a space for his long-discussed Frita Shop at the corner of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Salamanca Avenue. Opening sometime this summer, the shop will be the first of several spots, he said.
"It's going to be terribly simple," he said. We're thinking "a double [frita] and then a couple of different variations. We wanted to have a couple [hot] dogs, and are planning on doing some dogs with the actual flavor profile of frita."
He's also working on recipes for a few batidos and Cuban-inspired shakes. And he's tossing around the idea of a 1950s-style soda machine for pineapple soda, Malta and a house cola.
The Cuban burger shop was his first plan after leaving The Local Craft Food & Drink in early 2012. Cabrera told Short Order that a concept and brand has been fleshed out for more than two years, but he couldn't find the right partner.
"I didn't want to sell the whole concept away and give up too much ownership," he said in February. He is also looking at location in Kendall, but isn't in any hurry.
In the meantime he opened a Cuban gastropub, Bread + Butter Counter, on Salzedo Street just north of Miracle Mile.
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With Frita Shop Cabrera's intentions are clear. He said he saw Ruby Tuesday's 2012 acquisition of John Kunkel's Lime Fresh Mexican Grill for $24 million and it's hard to miss Danny Meyers' expanding Shake Shack empire.
"The goal is to have multiple locations," he said, "where it's very simple and easy to understand for not just the Cuban community here, but where other ethnicities can go and feel comfortable."
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