A trio of Venezuelan Queenstowners have graduated from running a market food stall to opening a new Mall eatery.
Richard Castro, Indira Marin and Alfredo Bustamante launch their co-owned Caribe Latin Kitchen restaurant and takeaway next Thursday.
The three budding restaurateurs will specialise in Brazilian, Argentinian, Colombian and Venezuelan dishes.
While targeting all nationalities frequenting popular Queenstown Mall, the Venezuelans say they’ll be specially catering for what they claim is a three-fold increase in Latin Americans coming to live here over the past seven years.
In 2006, Mountain Scene estimated about 1000 Brazilians lived and worked in Queenstown.
The trio previously co-owned a successful South American food stall selling arepas at Remarkables Market.
The Mall premises of Caribe were formerly occupied by the ill-fated Blackballs gourmet hot dog bar.
Blackballs was a sausage-and-sauce format created by Michelin-starred British chef Mark Gregory.
Gregory joined Queenstown trio Vicki Onions, Mike Burgess and Kevin Ramsay as investors in the business.
Its menu offered 12 varieties of 30cm sausages made by the Blackball Salami Company on the West Coast.
There were brave plans to franchise the concept but the Queenstown pilot outlet failed to fire and traded for only four months.
Since its closure last November, a sign on the door read ‘Re-Open Tomorrow’.
Mountain Scene understands the Caribe owners will sub-lease the premises until about December before embarking on a new lease.
The rental of the prime premises is thought to be about $1500 per week.