Wave of Latin businesses, culture bringing diversity to Minneapolis neighborhood
A neighborhood in Minneapolis is seeing a wave of Latino business owners bring diversity to the area.
In the last year, a handful of Latino businesses ranging from restaurants to nightclubs opened their doors.
From the floor-to-ceiling greenery and pops of color around every corner, Ivan Cardenas is bringing Latin vibes to the doorstep of Minneapolis.
“You come inside here, and you see tropical drinks and food,” said Cardenas, the owner of Rumba. “In Rumba there’s food, drinks and dancing.”
Cardenas opened Rumba in September to bring new flavor to Uptown. It’s a restaurant during the day and turns into a dancing nightclub from Thursdays to Sundays.
“I want to show people from Minneapolis how Latinos do life — how we eat, drink and party,” Cardenas said.
The food is crafted by a chef from Tulum, Mexico and the DJs are from Miami.
Cardenas said the restaurant is riddled with Latino culture and comfort.
“It’s a warm place like home and like family,” he said. “I want people to come in and enjoy it with us.”
Cardenas said seeing people happy and smiling in his restaurant is what makes it all worth it.
“I’m so happy. I feel so good and I say ‘Thank God’ for this,” he said.
Just a few steps down the block on Girard Avenue, there’s a slice of Argentina.
Chef Facundo DeFraia is the brains behind Boludo. His father, Omar Cruz, is a friendly face who helps out at some of the locations in Minneapolis.
“The pizza is amazing. I love Pepperoni,” Cruz said in Spanish. “I am so proud of my son and what he has accomplished.”
Cruz said the family wanted to bring a taste of Buenos Aires to Minneapolis.
The Uptown location was the newest opening to spread the dough and Latin culture.
“He [his son] came here with the influence of his friends from Argentina. We wanted to show ‘We are from Argentina and we love our cuisine,’” Cruz said in Spanish. The Latino businesses are passionate about sharing their culture so Minnesotans can experience it.
“To be a bit more open-minded and trying new things is always a good thing and not just staying in your own bubble,” Maribel Estrada Martinez, Boludo Uptown manager, said. “I like to experience that too.”