C. Señor, the walk-up Cuban sandwich stand that opened at 330 W. Davis Street in 2014, closed last week. But owner Tony Alvarez, who also owns Hattie’s, has his sights on something more expansive.
“The lease came up. I wanted to go a little bit bigger, put a Cuban bar in, have indoor-outdoor seating available. We’re looking at a few places within the radius of the place where it is now. We haven’t nailed it down yet,” he says, indicating his desire to stay in Bishop Arts.
Born and raised in Key West, Florida, Alvarez is of Cuban descent on his father’s side. He can claim grandparents who migrated from Cuba to Key West to roll cigars. He ate his way through Cuba and Miami before opening C. Señor. He knows a thing or two about Cuban drinks, food, and spirit.
When I spoke with him as I worked on a piece about Cuban food in Dallas last fall, he was thinking of opening a location that would provide indoor seating. “In the dead of winter, what you want is a Cubano or ropa vieja,” he told me then—and the now-shuttered stand location offered only a handful of tables outside.
The new spot (he’s envisioning something around 1,000 square feet) will include more dining options, but his idea is to keep it close to the original ventanita, a walk-up window common in Miami and Cuba. “Cuba is very simple,” he says. “It’s a Cuban sandwich shop, which will expand with a bar and breakfast and maybe some lunch and dinner special plates. But everything is still disposable.”
There will be dominoes available for scattering across tables. The bar will feature rum-forward Cuban and more broadly Caribbean drinks—the Cuba Libre, mojito, daiquiri—as well as other tropical drinks from the islands. Nothing fancy, he says: “Simple; back to what it is.”
Breakfast will likely include media noche sandwiches, egg sandwiches, and empanadas to eat alongside sips of Cuban coffee. (We will still be able to eat the Cuban sandwich: pork butt, marinated with a mojo sauce piqued with sour orange and garlic and slow-cooked seven hours before being pressed on the flat-top, with an extra splash of mojo for good measure.)
Alvarez is hoping for a mid- to late-summer opening, and intends to keep some of the same staff, “If we can get something [up] quick enough.”
It’ll be a place to sit, have a couple of drinks, and play dominoes to the occasional background of live music. And smoke cigars.
“That’s what the Cubans are all about: low-key and not fancy.”
Also note: According to Eater, the walk-up stand will be replaced by a counter serving all-day breakfast food.