The owner and chef of the meat-centric Urban Butcher announced Friday that his new downtown Silver Spring restaurant, El Sapo Cuban Social Club, will open in August.

The restaurant, in the Central apartment building at the corner of Fenton Street and Wayne Avenue, will be a “hip, festive, forward-thinking Cuban restaurant,” chef Raynold Mendizábal said in a press release. “It’s been a long dream of mine to represent and promote my culture through my craft, and here it is.”

Mendizábal said on the restaurant’s website that half of the dishes to be served at El Sapo are inspired by the foods and drinks he “enjoyed growing up at home or on the streets” of Havana” while the other half will represent his journey as a chef. Diners can expect classics such as ropa vieja, cortaditos and mojitos as well as “our curated rum cart.”

Mendizábal is the chef behind Urban Butcher on Georgia Avenue, one of Silver Spring’s most popular restaurants since it opened in 2013. He was named the Restaurant Association of Maryland’s chef of the year in 2016.

El Sapo will have an open-air double bar opening onto a private patio, which will continue around the corner of the restaurant and become a sidewalk café. On Sundays, the restaurant will offer a weekly brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with mojitos, traditional dishes and Cuban street food. Half-price mojitos will be available from 4 to 7 p.m. daily at the bar and patio. Later in the evenings, the restaurant will feature “Havana Nights,” including music, “island vibes,” a limited menu and half-price mojitos, according to its w

Julie Rasicot

Julie Rasicot can be reached at