|Caribe says goodbye|
The tiny spot on Raymond, just off of University, has been home to a few fantastic neighborhood joints--Jay's Cafe and, before that, the storied Chet's Taverna. The most recent tenant, Caribe Bistro, announced this morning that it, too, will have to leave the spot.
Known for having fantastic mofongo and making each guest feel like a part of the family, Caribe was besieged by light rail construction soon after opening and sadly never regained its footing. All hope is not lost yet.
|Heidi and Tony Panelli|
Heidi and Tony Panelli, the owners of Caribe, are the sort of people who inspire hope and good wishes. They came in when the restaurant was still open as Jay's and slowly transformed the spot into their home, painting the walls vibrant, tropical colors while Tony cooked the foods from his native Puerto Rico. The restaurant never lacked warmth, from the colors to the food to the heart and soul the Panellis poured into every inch of the space.
Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people. Hopefully, this is only a small break in our time with them. They have spoken of plans to use Kickstarter to raise money for another place, perhaps this time closer to their northeast Minneapolis home.
Their Facebook page announcement
says their final day will be Sunday, April 15, with an 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday brunch. They ask that guests be patient, as they expect an influx of guests saying goodbye, but they also will likely be out of staff. Chances are, Tony will be cooking and serving all the food.
Going out with class, they've announced that any outstanding gift certificates that can't be redeemed will be refunded.
We hope this isn't goodbye, but see you soon.
791 Raymond Ave., St. Paul, MN