Cuba-Inspired Havana 1920 Opens This Week In San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter

October 4, 2017

The new Havana 1920 opens this week next to its sister restaurant El Chingon in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, channeling Hemmingway’s Cuba when the island was a playground for Americans to escape Prohibition and hit the happening Caribbean bar scene.

The latest concept by GBOD Hospitality Group, Havana 1920 is located at 548 5th Avenue just south of Market Street right next to sister concept El Chingon Badass Mexican. Serving classic Cuban fare with Chef Anthony Porras at the helm, signature dishes include croquetas de jamón y queso, classic Cuban croquettes made with ham and creamy béchamel; sandwich Cubano, slices of slow roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread; and ropa vieja, shredded beef cooked in tomato sauce with peppers and onion.

"Havana 1920 celebrates my personal heritage, and with that, we created a place that really transports guests to Hemmingway’s Cuba," said Joe Santos, COO of GBOD Hospitality Group, whose grandparents migrated to the United States from Cuba. "From music to décor and dishes and drinks to service, every guest is wrapped in the spirit Cuba."

Honoring Cuba’s favorite spirit, beverage director and lead mixologist Ryan Andrews, has curated an impressive collection of more than 150 rums, including French-style Rhum Agricole, classic British Navy, and the hard-to-find Appleton Estate Joy. Signature cocktails honor Havana’s history, with selections like Havana 1920 Daiquiri, made with Havana Club añejo rum, fresh lime juice and fresh sugar cane syrup; Havana 1920 Mojito, made with Havana Club añejo blanco rum, fresh lime juice, yerba buena, fresh-pressed sugar cane juice, fresh sugar cane syrup and club soda; and Painkiller, made with Pusser’s Navy Rum, fresh squeezed orange juice, house-made coconut cream and fresh pineapple juice.

Accommodating up to 80 guests, the restaurant was designed by GBOD’s own design team, led by Colin Mangold, who brought Santos’ vision to reality. The intimate, 1,000-square-foot restaurant and bar is filled with authentic touches such as a variety of Cuban-style chairs, Cuban cigar boxes and a machine making fresh-pressed sugar cane juice for cocktails.

GBOD Hospitality Group is a San Diego based hospitality group founded in 2017 by Raymond and Patrick Davoudi, Joe Santos and Aleko Achtipes. Their flagship restaurant, Meze Greek Fusion, opened in December of 2014 at 345 6th Avenue. Quickly building on the success of Meze, in February 2017, GBOD took over operations of Prohibition, an underground speakeasy located below Havana 1920, followed by the opening El Chingon Bad Ass Mexican in May, and Saganaki by Meze at Liberty Public Market in June.

Havana 1920 grand opens on Thursday, October 5 with a grand opening preview, beginning at 7pm. The price is $10 per person, and 100 percent of the fees collected will be donated to hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean. For more information on Havana 1920, visit