Olé Restaurant Group’s new Señora Arepa, a Venezuelan-themed eatery, opened yesterday in NuLu. It is located directly behind La Bodeguita de Mima at 721 E. Market Street.

In an information release, Señora Arepa is explained thusly: “The fast casual concept will serve made-to-order Venezuelan cuisine featuring the namesake arepa, a popular Latin American maize dish best described as a cross between a tortilla and a pancake, and often topped or stuffed with homemade cheese, meats, chicken, or avocado.”

Cristina Martinez, partner at Olé Hospitality, elaborated.

“I’m really excited about bringing the delicious food of my youth to Louisville,” she said. “Before my husband Fernando and I left for Paris, where he attended cooking school at Le Cordon Bleu, I took him to live in my home country of Venezuela for a year and he absolutely fell in love with the cuisine. He learned from my family and perfected the preparation of arepas and many other traditional dishes. This is really our South American answer to El Taco Luchador. I expect this will be the first of many.”

A few Señora Arepa bullet points:

  • Señora Arepa is pronounced seyn-yawr-uh a-repa
  • The eatery is located in Ghyslain’s 4,000-square-foot former building
  • It shares a courtyard, “El Jardín de Las Flores,” with La Bodeguita de Mima
  • Featured menu items include “Reina Pepiada” (griddled cornmeal patties, baked and stuffed with chicken salad) and “Pabellón Criollo,” Venezuela’s national dish, made with black beans and shredded beef under a bed of plantain chips
  • Venezuelan rum will be featured at the bar and used with tropical juices (guanabana, sour sop, mango, and mora), with cocktails to include a Venezuelan-style mojito called Papelón con Limón
  • Martinez promises genuine café culture: “We’ll have a full selection of Latin coffees – your café con leche, your cortadito, but we’ll also offer them with a choice of sweet rims like dulce de leche, Nutella, or chocolate”
  • There are desserts, too: Sweet Arepita, Bien Me Sabe and Casillo (a denser version of the Spanish treat)
  • Hours will be Tuesday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Saturday Noon to 9:00 p.m.
  • For more information visit: senora-arepa.com, or Señora Arepa at Facebook and Instagram

Previously at Food & Dining Magazine:

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