In an unassuming building in Detroit’s West Village neighborhood sits Encarnacion, a new Latino coffee shop opening this week. The cafe has been in the works for a while, opened by Robert Encarnacion with the goal of bringing more Latin cuisine and culture to the city.
The owner moved to Detroit from the Dominican Republic in 2019 and found a home in the West Village a few months later. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he decided to take a class on making latte art using a French press, and that’s when the idea of opening a cafe struck him. came. Since then, he has accumulated a small number of followers on Encarnacion’s Instagram page, showing off his learning of the art of coffee brewing.
In April 2021, Encarnacion purchased a building at 8016 Kercheval Avenue, but the journey to actually opening the cafe’s doors was difficult, mainly due to the cost of the necessary equipment.
Just in time for the holidays, Encarnacion is finally ready to begin operations. Hours of operation will be Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., except for Thanksgiving, when the store will close at 1 p.m.
Currently, the menu is limited to a few signature lattes, a full espresso bar and minimal breakfast options, including bagels from the Detroit Institute of Bagels. Offerings will soon include Cubano coffee, fresh-squeezed juice, avocado and tomato toast, Cuban sandwich, fresh fruit salad and breakfast sandwiches.
Besides the bagels, all items are made on site with fresh ingredients.
The menu will continue to expand over the coming weeks and is primarily developed by Chef Mauro Gonzalez.
“I come from fine dining, I come from that high-end world, but over the years I’ve just wanted to do more of a family-style menu and service, so that’s pretty much what I want to bring here.”, says González.
In the coming months, Encarnacion and Gonzalez hope to open a cantina next to the cafe, which will serve Latin American street foods such as rice bowls and Venezuelan-style arepas.
“We want to bring elevated traditional recipes to a more upscale style where you take the first bite and you just say, ‘Wow, this is amazing, it’s like I’m sitting in my grandmother’s house. mother,’” Gonzalez said.
He adds that he and Encarnacion have a common goal with the cafe: bringing the community together.
To learn more about Encarnacion and to get updates on menu items, you can follow the cafe on Instagram (@encarnacion).
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