Louisville Magazine

AUG 2015

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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Page 121 of 140

LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.15 119 globalgamechangers.org ypal.org/connect across the Straits of Florida before the Coast Guard picked them up. Tey spent a year at a refugee camp in Guantanamo Bay before Martinez eventually made it to San Diego. In 1996 he came to Louisville, where he met his now-wife/business partner Cristina. His frst job in the area was at Mexican Restaurant called Ernesto's. Havana Rumba and Mojito Tapas followed not long after. Now Martinez — well, the man can't stop opening restaurants (cousin Yaniel Martinez is also involved). He has Mussel & Burger Bar, Cena, Guaca Mole, El Taco Luchador, the upcoming Artesano Vino Tapas y Mas in Westport Village. He makes everything from breakfast tortas to gourmet burgers to handmade pasta. "We get bored of doing the same thing," Martinez says. His team plans to open a second Mussel & Burger Bar in Whiskey Row. ("Because of the fre, I'm pretty sure it's going to take a little bit longer to open, but not much longer. Hopefully winter 2016.") A still-under-wraps "Southern-style" project will serve fried chicken. Martinez isn't afraid of of-the- beaten-path locations. Mussel & Burger Bar, with the Italian Cena in the basement, is in an easy-to-miss J-town strip mall. Guaca Mole is in a former Applebee's in Lyndon. "I'm a big believer in: You build it, and they will come," he says. "Louisville's not a big city, and if you have good product, good service, people will drive for it." Martinez splits his time between the restaurants, and he says the hardest part of his hectic schedule is learning not to be a perfectionist. "But I think that's what drives me. Tat's part of being successful — being a perfectionist but also learning your limits," he says. When he cooks for his family (he and his wife have two children), he prefers to keep it simple — roast chicken with black beans and rice for a weekly Sunday meal. "I am always thinking about food. It's my passion; it's what I do," he says. "I go to sleep thinking about food; I wake up thinking about restaurant concepts. "Now that they're allowing people to own their own places (in Cuba), we're looking into maybe doing something over there with my cousin," Martinez says. "He has a house over there that we might turn into a restaurant."

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