Cuban Cafe opens in Downtown Savannah
Chef Joaquin Montesino Jr.’s new Cuban restaurant, Casa Guava, is a deliberate expression of his heritage and culinary expertise, even if its location was fortuitous.
After relocating from Miami to Savannah in 2018, Montesino honed his skills at various establishments, culminating in his role as executive chef for both Collins Quarter locations. While the aspiration to open his own restaurant had always simmered, Montesino began to actively pursue it around two years ago.
Serendipity intervened when Montesino noticed the vacant building at 314 Drayton St. Upon confirming the permanent closure of the former tenant, Burritos Pantano, he embarked on a persistent quest to connect with the landlord. “I kept coming to Pinkie Masters, trying to reach the landlord. I went once, twice, three times—every day for a week and a half until I finally got to him. He said, ‘okay, you’re the one that’s been chasing me.’ Yes. That’s me.”
Casa Guava’s menu features an array of authentic Cuban fare, including “pa’ picar” small bites like Cuban puff pastries, empanadas, croquetas, and tamales, as well as breakfast options, lunch sandwiches, and aromatic coffee or “cafecito.”
Situated at 318 Drayton St., Casa Guava is now open and warmly welcomes guests from 8am to 3pm daily.