The Real Deal Miami

Bongos Cuban Café closing its doors at Heat’s stadium

Emilio Estefan says rent at American Airlines Arena not a factor in decision to shut eatery
June 05, 2014 04:30PM

 A rendering of Estefan's new building and Bongos Cuban Café

A rendering of Emilio Estefan’s new building and Bongos Cuban Café

Entrepreneur Emilio Estefan is shutting down his restaurant Bongos Cuban Café, which operated for the past 15 years at the AmericanAirlines Arena. In its place, Estefan will open Estefan Kitchen in a new building that he plans to construct less than a mile away in downtown Miami. 

Estefan told the Miami Herald that construction of the new building will take a “couple of years.” He added that the decision to remove his restaurant from the Miami Heat’s stadium was not due to a increase in the rent.

“There was no conflict. I don’t know why the speculation [arose],” Estefan said. “We are not leaving because of a raise in rent, either. I always agreed with the rent. We did very well, we made money at the AmericanAirlines Arena, but there comes a time in which after renting an apartment, you wish to buy your own house.” [Miami Herald] – Christopher Cameron