Food

Cuban Cuisine Finds a Familial Home on Tarrytown’s Main Street

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by W. B. King – 

While walking the streets of Cuba in 2015, Bebe Gonzalez was so inspired by the food and culture of his ancestral homeland that he had an epiphany.

“I always wanted to open a restaurant that would keep the Cuban traditions and recipes alive that were passed down to me from grandparents, parents and friends in the Tarrytown Cuban community. I was so energized by the passionate people I met on my trip that I knew it was time,” said Gonzalez. “The Cube Inn is all about family, friends, laughter, music and good food—a family-friendly gathering place.”

Prior to opening The Cube Inn, which is set to debut in December, Gonzalez operated Babalu’Q, an authentic Cuban catering company for 10 years. The lifelong Tarrytown resident grew up in the restaurant business. His late father, Roberto Gonzalez, operated a few restaurants in Tarrytown, including Scorpios, which is now Tarry Tavern. His uncle currently operates two successful Cuban eateries in South Florida.

“Both my parents and my uncle grew up in Cuba, and my oldest brother was born there,” said Bebe.

Gonzalez’s father also operated the original Huddle, a restaurant and bar that was located at 22 Main Street. He had purchased the business from former National Football League player, Red O’Brien. In the late 1980s, after years of successful operation the Gonzalez’s transformed the restaurant into the Green Machine Laundromat, which closed its door in July 2018.

“We really have come full circle. I worked in the kitchen of The Huddle as a kid flipping burgers and helping out,” said Bebe of the location’s now home to The Cube Inn. The building, he added, was built in 1901 and first served as a flour business that supplied local bakers.

They Love Each Other

By operating the laundromat, Bebe became a well-known fixture in Tarrytown and forged many friendships. But on one day in 1993, his life would forever change for the better when a Marymount student, Megan Taney, came in to do her laundry.

“He made me laugh right away and I was just love struck, and I still think he is pretty funny,” recalled Megan Gonzalez who recently left her position teaching preschool at Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center, a job she had for 12 years.

The couple, who will operate The Cube Inn as partners (Bebe as head chef and Megan as manager), is approaching their 23rd wedding anniversary. Their college-aged daughters, Belle and Abbey, will lend their talents to the business when time permits.

“This really is a family affair,” said Megan who added that prior to teaching she worked as a waitress at various restaurants. “Our family has always been about the love of food, music and being together. We all had so much fun catering Babalu’Q events together that we wanted to open a restaurant. This is a dream come true for all of us, especially Bebe.”

A Traditional and Eclectic Menu

The Cube Inn will be open seven days a week serving lunch and dinner. There will also be a late night limited menu available until 2 a.m. Bebe explained that while the restaurant will feature many traditional Cuban entrees and meals, there will also be unique food offerings that will change on a rotating basis, including suckling pig for special events.

“The main plates will be traditional Cuban dishes, but the reason we named it ‘The Cube Inn’ is that it allows me to experiment—eclectic street food indoors,” said Bebe. “We will have themed food nights as well.”

The restaurant will offer a full bar featuring festive specialty Cuban cocktails as well as other spirits, wines and craft beers. After a longer than expected period of construction and preparation, the couple said they are eager to join Tarrytown’s restaurant row.

“There are so many awesome restaurants in Tarrytown and we look forward to bringing a new taste to Main Street. This is our new baby—our passion. We can’t wait to share it with the community,” said Megan.

“We are also looking forward to working alongside the Tarrytown Music Hall because we want to bring that music vibe in here. In the future, we hope to feature some live music as well,” added Bebe. “This will be a place to let your hair down, have a good time while enjoying our take on Cuban culture and cuisine.”

Visit the Cube Inn at 22 Main Street, Tarrytown. (914) 315-9218.

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