Sophie Bolich

Cubanitas Celebrates 20 Years

Downtown restaurant celebrating with three days of music, dancing and drink tastings.

By - Sep 14th, 2023 05:42 pm
Site of Cubanitas, 728 N. Milwaukee St. Photo taken Sept. 14, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Cubanitas, 728 N. Milwaukee St. Photo taken Sept. 14, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Twenty years ago, Marc Bianchini and his wife, Marta, opened Cubanitas in downtown Milwaukee. Since then, the city has seen momentous change, but some things — like the restaurant’s award-winning Cubano — haven’t changed a bit.

Cubanitas, 728 N. Milwaukee St., will celebrate two successful decades in business with a three-day party this weekend, inviting guests to partake in live music, dancing, drink tastings and giveaways.

The owners expressed gratitude to patrons of the restaurant in a post on their website. “On behalf of the Bianchi family and the entire Cubanitas team, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of our incredible customers who have been with us throughout our journey. It is with immense joy and gratitude that we commemorate our 20-year anniversary as a cherished member of the vibrant restaurant scene in Milwaukee.”

Festivities will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 14, with a live performance by Cache MKE from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The local group plays a variety of Latin dance music including salsa, bachata and most styles in-between.

Experiencia Bohemia will continue the celebration on Friday, performing the following evening, performing traditional songs with added layers of Latin percussion from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A Bacardi Mango Chile Rum tasting, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will further spice up the evening. The flavored rum is also an all-day special, with $5 shots and $8 mixed drinks.

On Saturday, stop in for a Havana bowl and then hit the dance floor, with after-dinner tunes from DJ Whyte Nite beginning at 10 p.m.

Throughout the weekend, Cubanitas will be giving away free merchandise including hats, shirts and cups, while supplies last.

Touted as the city’s first entirely Cuban restaurant, Cubanitas is under the ownership of A Bianchini Experience, which also includes Indulge event venue, Cubanitas’ Oak Creek location and a catering arm. The Bianchinis are also investors in The Clybourn, 2202 W. Clybourn St., and The Mitch, 1104 W. Historic Mitchell St., event venues.

The quaint dining room at downtown’s Cubanitas is painted orange — Marta‘s favorite color — and features a gallery wall of family photos, as well as a glittering chandelier whose size required it to be towed in through a broken window.

The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, serving authentic Cuban dishes including fried plantains, ropa vieja and bistec empanizado.

Cubanitas is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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