Alejandro “Alex” Ramirez, owner of three Alebrije Mexican restaurants in Wyomissing and Muhlenberg and Exeter townships, isDowntown Reading going ahead with plans to install Cuban restautant in the first floor of Albert R. Boscov Plaza.

The restaurant will be located at 25 N. Second St., on the corner across from the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts and Reading RC 11 & IMAX theater. The plaza is a three-story parking garage owned by the Reading Parking Authority.

The first commercial space in the building is occupied by Panevino, an Italian restaurant. Ramirez said the restaurant plan had been delayed in part because of the poor health of Albert Boscov, the longtime head of the Boscov’s department store chain who passed away last month. 

Esterbrook said some Our City Reading business had been delayed due to Boscov’s illness but he said after the memorial service on Sunday he thought the time was right to move the development forward.

“We have been trying to a long time to fill the two other commercial spaces next to Panevino,” Esterbrook said. “We may have more good news in the near future.

“Ramirez’s lawyer, Theodore J. Zeller III of Allentown, said his client has an excellent reputation both as a restaurateur and with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Ramirez has had liquor licenses with his other three restaurants.

Zeller said Cubano will offer a lunch and dinner menu, with a 12 a.m. closing time. Ramirez plans to occasionally offer live music at the restaurant. Cubano will have 90 seats in the interior and could have an additional 30 seats on the outdoor patio that will be available seasonally.

Cubano will be a bit more upscale than the restaurants Ramirez currently owns with the price points mirroring Panevino and Judy’s on Cherry. Zeller said the alcohol will complement the food and that Cubano would not be a shot and beer joint. Carry out beer sales will account for only five percent of overall sales, he said.

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