Cameron Morgan, Chattanooga, Tenn. — Specializing in caribbean food and drink, Embargo 62 asks patrons to celebrate the bold, fresh food and drink of Cuba through traditional recipes and ingredients, while taking in the eclectic Chattanooga scene on the North Shore.
The restaurant, 301 Cherokee Blvd., which opened Aug. 10 has seen steady business both during lunch hours and at night. It’s grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 15, and events include a Cuban-style pig roast starting at 11 a.m., a Cuban band from 2-5 p.m. and salsa dancing from 6-7:30 p.m.
“Our patio’s been poppin’ since we opened. People are loving the
brisk weather and our cocktails that we’re serving,” said Travis Borden, beverage director for the bar.
Borden, who was serviced through his previous career, is hopeful for the original tone which Embargo sets in Chattanooga.
“Product-wise, we really try to feature Cuban-fare and highlight those flavors and foods which make Cuban cuisine so unique,” Borden said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to copy what we do, and the community has been so excited and receptive to what we’re doing.”
Ryan Cole, director of operations, who oversees the bar and the kitchen stressed the millennial vibe which Embargo captures.
“We don’t focus on the ‘big boys’ like Bacardi. We try to focus on craft spirits and getting in touch with the millennial spirit, that people don’t want to have what their father’s or grandfather’s had, but try something made locally with tradition,” Cole said.
With their selection of over 62 craft rums — and growing according to Cole — the bar at Embargo seems to literally capture the Cuban ‘spirit.’
Among their drinks, Borden said that the crowd favorite has been the Mata Dolor, or ‘Pain Killer,’ which is made with pina coloda, orange juice and nutmeg, and served on fire.
“And with almost twice the amount of rum in a normal pina coloda, you can see why it would be a pain killer,” Borden said.
Other drinks, like the 1900’s Cuba Libre which aims to ‘re-focus’ the bar staple of a rum-and-coke, capture the tradition which sets Embargo apart.
Step away from the bar, and find Head Chef ‘Eddie’ bringing Cuba to patrons with authentic breads shipped from Miami and pork marinated in traditional spices.
With mains ranging from $8-13, the street-food style cantina aims to hit the budget-conscious and adventurous eater perfectly.
For more details, menus and hours visit their website here.