Kristy Socarras Bigelow
My mother fled Cuba in 1959, at the onset of Castro's Revolution, and has been in the United States since she was twelve years old. I am a first generation Cuban-American, born in Miami to an ultra-Cuban family. I was raised by my Cuban parents, grandparents and great- grandparents, and remember being told repeatedly what a utopia Cuba was. Even though they were forced out of their country my family brought their culture with them to Miami. I grew up in a bilingual household that was never short on gargantuan feasts, festive parties with Latin music and dance, and a lively home life. The influence of my Cuban roots provided me with the opportunity to experience a life full of emotion and zest.
After moving to Denver to pursue a career in Social Work I met and fell in love with Brian Bigelow. After several years in Denver I missed my family, my language and my culture more everyday. I went everywhere looking for my favorite Cuban dishes like vaca frita, palomilla, picadillo and platanitos. Where could I get a Cuban sandwich? My mother often sent me Cuban treats but they failed to satisfy a constant craving. Soon Brian and I began to think why not? Why not open a Cuban restaurant here in Denver?
A Cuban restaurant in Denver would give me the opportunity to enjoy the lifestyle and quality of life of Colorado and I could share my culture with Denver. I phoned my younger brother Enrique who has worked in some of the best restaurants in Miami over the last 7 years and he agreed to help launch the concept and design the menu. As our chef, he shares family recipes as well as Cuban classics to give us the true taste of our family's homeland. Enrique's artistic interpretation of authentic Cuban dishes gives us the perfect blend for a true Cuban experience. So, come into our home and share our culture, after all, mi Cuba es su Cuba!
10 Years Later
Ten years later I am delighted to be sitting in our aqua houses with the metal palm tree outside; a staple cuban eatery serving the best Mojitos in Denver. Inside the Cuban music is playing, we are serving up Vaca Frita, Mariquitas and Paella on a nightly basis. Looking back I thought we would bring Cuba Cuba to Denver and create a small buzz about Cuban cuisine in the mountains. We are ecstatic to witness the support and love that people have expressed throughout the years.
I am flattered to hear people often saying that they feel like they have taken a vacation the minute they walk up our sidewalk lined with 8 foot banana palms, they want to sit at the bar all night and drink Mojitos and Martinis.
Our regular customers have kept this little oasis hopping and have become a part of our Cuban family. Regulars walk through the door and head straight to the kitchen to mess with the chef and crew behind the scenes. We listen to guests come in and ask for staff by name, requesting their favorite foods and cocktails; I am grateful the Cuba Cuba staff is as caring with this place as I am & have helped me create this home away from home for not only our customers, but for me.
Ten years later Brian and I have 3 kids and we have to figure out how to split time between all 4 kids (the 4th being Cuba Cuba of course). I am truly at home in these 2 aqua houses and am grateful for life here in Denver, sharing my culture and cuisine with this fabulous city and so it continues..."Mi Cuba es Su Cuba!"