Immigrant Best Friends Open Miami Cafe

DENVER, NC – Carla Palacios and Damaris Gonzalez said they instantly connected after hearing each other’s Miami accent while working together in Charlotte.

Palacios’ family immigrated to Florida from Nicaragua and Gonzalez from Cuba.

Both love the taste of traditional Miami dishes that combine flavors from their home countries.

When they moved to Charlotte, they said it was difficult to find this combination in a restaurant.

The women had become best friends and decided to do business together.

They came up with Miami Fusion Cafe.

Located in Denver in east Lincoln County, the restaurant serves Cuban and Nicaraguan cuisine with Miami flavors.

The opening date was set for March 2020, but then of course the pandemic hit, and it was postponed to June. Gonzalez said they stressed people wouldn’t visit a new restaurant in the middle of a pandemic.

“One of the things I said to her was, ‘Do you think they’ll come? Haha do you think anyone will come here during the pandemic? ‘”Says Gonzalez.

But since that opening day last summer, the cafe has been busy with customers looking for the traditional Miami flavor. Palacios says the number of Nicaraguan customers they received surprised them.

“They are really all Nicaraguans, I would not have thought that we would have as many Nicaraguans as we do, but apparently they do exist,” says Palacios.

The women say it is difficult to own a business and they get a bit overwhelmed at times, but they really enjoy serving this homemade dish that many have not found in a restaurant in years.

The Miami Fusion Cafe is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m.

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