Monday, January 22, 2018

Mi Caribe Has Closed in Midtown

Posted By on Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 7:15 AM

JOHNNY FUGITT
  • JOHNNY FUGITT

Mi Caribe (3701 Lindell Boulevard), the Caribbean spot near the Saint Louis University campus co-owned by former Major League Baseball pitcher Johnny Martinez, has closed.

It's not clear how long the restaurant has been closed. The most recent post on its Facebook page notes only that the place will be closing for a week over Thanksgiving; its website contains no message of a closure. But it hasn't been open during normal hours in recent days, and its telephone has apparently been disconnected. Peeking through the windows, the furniture has been removed.

No one responded to a message sent to the restaurant's email on Friday.

Mi Caribe opened in July 2015 on the bottom floor of the Coronado, in the space that previously held Chuy Arzola's. Martinez, who had pitched for the Cleveland Indians before becoming a coach, opened the spot with Warren Duval, a mortgage banker.

Himself born in the Dominican Republic, Martinez explains on Mi Caribe's website that he he "was always looking for a place where he could eat authentic Caribbean cuisine... and found nothing. To solve his problem, he and his business partner Warren Duval started their OWN restaurant where Johnny could have a little taste of home. After some deliberation and some menu experimentations, Mi Caribe was born."

Unfortunately, those craving Dominican food in St. Louis have few other options. One possibility? Alpha Brewing Company, which plans to open in a new, bigger location in Tower Grove South in the coming months, has partnered with "Plantain Girl" Mandy Estrella to provide food service. Estrella's ex-husband is Dominican, and she specializes in the cuisine she learned to love during their marriage.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com


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