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El Sapo Cuban Social Club Opens in Downtown Silver Spring

Urban Butcher owner's new restaurant has open-air bar, patio and sidewalk cafe

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VIA EL SAPO

At long last, El Sapo Cuban Social Club in downtown Silver Spring is open.

The Cuban-cuisine restaurant in the Central apartment building at the corner of Fenton Street and Wayne Avenue opened its doors at 4 p.m. Thursday, according to a post on Facebook.

“Thank you for celebrating with us late into the night! The garage doors will be open today to add some fresh air to the bar tonight,” the post said.

Owner and chef Raynold Mendizabal, who originally announced an August opening for the restaurant,previously said in a press release that it has long been his dream to represent his Cuban culture and craft.

“I’m so happy to introduce EL SAPO, Cuban Social Club—a hip, festive, forward-thinking Cuban restaurant, and the first of its kind in the D.C. metro area,” Mendizabal said. “Bright, open, and brimming with energy, EL SAPO’s whole storefront lifts to let the breeze in. The fresh mojitos, upbeat music and bold island food really do require ‘no filter.’ ”

Mendizabal, who also owns the meat-centric Urban Butcher at 8226 Georgia Ave. and was named chef of the year in 2016 by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, says his menu is rooted in tradition and is unmistakably Cuban.

“About half of the dishes are what I ate growing up at home or on the streets of La Habana, while the other half tell the story of my journey as a cook,” Mendizabal said.

El Sapo, at 8455 Fenton St., has an open-air double bar opening onto a private patio, which continues around the corner of the restaurant and becomes a sidewalk café.

Happy hour is from 4 to 7:30 p.m. and dinner begins at 4 p.m. daily. Seating is available in the Mojito Garden and outside bar, weather permitting.

On Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. El Sapo offers “Mananas in the Mojito Garden,” a daytime fiesta featuring live DJs and musicians, discounted mojitos and Cuban street food.
“Havana Nights,” with music and a limited menu, begins at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9:30 pm on Friday and Saturday.

A lunchtime pick-up window to be open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday thru Friday is coming soon, according to the website.

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