Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Businessman plans Cuban restaurant

March 9, 2018
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Danzon Cubano Eastown interior partial rendering
Courtesy SJN & Associates

A local businessman plans to open a restaurant in town featuring “street-like” Cuban food and live entertainment.

Stefan Nava, managing partner of a new Grand Rapids-based hospitality company called SJN & Associates, received conditional approval last month from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission to open a restaurant called Danzon Cubano Eastown.

The restaurant will be located in a 3,342-square-foot ground-floor suite in the Fulton Square development, at 1 Carlton Ave. SE.

The planning commission at its Feb. 22 meeting approved Nava’s special land-use application for live entertainment and hours past midnight in the mixed-use development facing East Fulton Street.

“We believe that Grand Rapids has evolved and is ready for a concept full of life and flavor,” Nava says in documents filed with the city. “We will be featuring live entertainment that includes live Cuban music, salsa dancing by professional dancers (and) salsa dancing lessons.”

Nava says Danzon Cubano will be a “family friendly” eatery serving “flavorful Cuban-style food” for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

He says the restaurant will source fresh, organic products from local farmers and vendors and serve a variety of drinks: a Cuban-themed selection of adult beverages; Spanish sangria; other mixed drinks and cocktails; and a selection of Michigan, U.S. and international beers and wines.

The planning commission will consider at its March 22 meeting whether to approve Nava’s application for outdoor seating with alcohol service.

Pending final approvals and construction, Nava projects the restaurant will open this summer.

He says he plans to hire 31 employees.

Firms on the project

The Design Forum, of Grand Rapids, is the architect on the project.

Orion Construction and Willink Construction, both based in Grand Rapids, are the contractors on the project.

Fulton Square

Fulton Square features 47 apartments and four ground-floor retail spaces.

The property is owned by Orion Real Estate Solutions, a division of Grand Rapids-based Orion Construction.

Colliers International West Michigan is the property manager and leasing agent.

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