LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville residents who cannot travel to Cuba to get a taste of Cuban food will soon have another opportunity to sample such cuisine.
The tables are in place at the newest Havana Rumba at the Douglas Loop and Bardstown Road in the Highlands.
But owner Marcos Lorenzo says it will be another couple of weeks before the restaurant opens.
"We are shooting for next month," he says, "and we are waiting for the final inspections and whenever we get all of the certificates and licenses we will start."
Lorenzo says he has been looking forward to finding a location in the Highlands.
"This is a place for people who like to eat ethnic cuisine," he says, "so the Highlands has always been a target for us, we have been dreaming about being here and we are very happy that we will soon be open."
Lorenzo immigrated to Louisville from Cuba in 2000.
Four years later he opened his first Havana Rumba in St. Matthews. It did not take long for him to double the size of that restaurant.
Since then he has opened two more restaurants, one in Middletown and one in the Holiday Manor Shopping Center.
He acknowledges that the restaurant business in Louisville is very competitive and often requires 16-hour work days when trying to get a new one open.
He attributes much of his success to a great team of workers.
"The restaurant business takes a lot of hours, you don't get much vacation, long days, working weekends, it is not for everybody," Lorenzo said.
Lorenzo, who is an engineer by training, designs the kitchen layout for his restaurants.
Despite all the hard work and time and energy it takes to open a new restaurant, Lorenzo is not quite ready yet to say he won't be opening any more after the Douglas Loop location starts business.
"Every time I open one I say this is the last one, I am done," Lorenzo says, "but then I get excited again and my crew always wants to keep growing."
Lorenzo says he loves Louisville and his family has found a new home here and is grateful for the opportunities.
"It is a safe city, very prosperous, we like it, we are now well established, this is our home," he said with a smile.
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