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Last October we reported on two new Olé Restaurant Group projects slated for opening in “early 2020”: La Bodeguita de Mima, a Cuban homage in NuLu at 725 E. Market Street (next to the AC Hotel), and Señora Arepa, a fast-casual Venezuelan eatery directly behind La Bodeguita de Mima. 

Subsequently Louisville finally learned what it takes to slow the Olé juggernaut — a full-blown pandemic, but even then only pandemic enough to delay Fernando and Yani Martinez, not stop them. Given the challenges of the past few months, a July 1 opening for La Bodeguita de Mima is quite a feat (Señora Arepa will arrive in autumn).

The timelines have been altered, although the previews haven’t changed.

NuLu, Cuba and Venezuela: Olé Restaurant Group’s La Bodeguita De Mima and Señora Arepa

La Bodeguita De Mima occupies the 1911 building that most recently housed Creation Gardens. There is ample outdoor space, and improvements will include a cigar lounge and rum bar, all with a 1950s-era Havana feel.

“La Bodeguita de Mima is really a tribute to my Mima, my mother, Yolanda, the unofficial mom of our entire company,” said Fernando Martinez in a news release. “It will be a very casual place where Yani and I get to serve up family recipes like my grandmother’s black beans and our aunt’s flan.”

La Bodeguita de Mima will begin with dinner and carryout Mon.−Thurs. 5 p.m.−10 p.m., Fri and Sat. 5 p.m.−10 p.m. with the bar open until midnight. The Olé team also eventually plans lunch service, as well as a Sunday brunch with live Cuban music.

The independently operated Olé Restaurant Group is comprised of Steak & Bourbon, Guaca Mole Cocina Mexicana, El Taco Luchador Downtown, El Taco Luchador Highlands, El Taco Luchador St. Matthews, El Taco Luchador Jeffersontown, El Taco Luchador Colonial Gardens and Joe’s Older Than Dirt in Lyndon.