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El Cantito Cafe- Yonkers, NY

El Cantito Cafe- Yonkers, NY

"I need help. We need help", Julio, the Head Chef and co-owner of El Cantito Café exclaimed. Opened in March of 2020 with recipes inspired by their late Mother and Grandmother, Julio and sister/co-owner Debbie had high hopes. El Cantito was set to become one of the premier Puerto Rican restaurants in Yonkers. The pandemic put the brakes on the new restaurant, however, and it was closed as quickly as it opened. The venue just couldn’t pick up steam after Covid passed, and Julio and Debbie found themselves with an empty restaurant, growing deeper in debt as time passed. It took its toll on Julio, and the quality of food served became uninspired, at best.

Help Arrives

In the fall of 2023, Julio got his wish. The restaurant’s plight caught the attention of Gordon Ramsey, and a new episode of Kitchen Nightmares became the best hope for the foundering venue. Forced to face some uncomfortable truths, the duo had a choice to make. Either listen and learn, or sink.

restaurant seating

"When I think of the colors, the flavors of Puerto Rico, there is nothing that takes me back to Puerto Rico in here,” Ramsey noted upon entering the establishment. And he was right. That’s where Restaurant came in. Recognizing the need for a complete decor overhaul, our team of experts assessed the situation and offered a solution. Gone would be the unremarkable furnishings, and in their place would come a simple yet stunning interior design worth talking about.

Transformation of the Dining Area

Old Chairs

Old Design

The restaurant’s interior design was cheerless. Simple Tolix chairs and unremarkable tables populated the space, and there was nothing to remind customers that this was an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant. The grey of the walls and floor blended with the grey of the chairs, providing no visual relief from the monochrome interior.

New Design

New Design

The transformation from the dull, dreary interior to that of a tropical haven was made simple by the use of Restaurant’s Venice Cane Metal Chair and Resin Table Tops in Light Marble Finish. Note as well the new colors and floral print patterns on the walls, adorned with tasteful yet simple wall art. The addition of candles on the tables creates an intimate look.

Venice Cane Metal Chair and Resin Table Top

Our Venice Cane Metal Chair, shown below, adds the perfect touch to the space. Constructed with a fully welded metal frame, this chair is both durable and visually appealing. Note how it compliments the new décor, adding a beach feel to the establishment. Crafted with a woven cane wood back, the chair evokes images of vacation and leisure. Featuring an upholstered seat in premium vinyl or fabric, or a wood seat, and a wood back in either black or natural finish, this versatile piece is a fit for a variety of design themes.

restaurant seating

Complimenting the chair is our Resin Table Top in Light Marble Finish, shown above. Designed for indoor commercial use, this durable top is made in the USA and is available in multiple sizes. With a thickness of 1 1/8”, this top is made with attention to detail. UV, water, scratch, stain, and heat resistant, it will stand the test of time in the most demanding of environments.

Transformation of the Bar

Old bar design

Old Bar Design

With similarities to the dining area, the bar was unimpressive. The primary color was grey, from the bar counter to the stools to the floor and the walls. There wasn’t much here to inspire customers to sit for a drink. There simply wasn’t anything of note to look at. The Tolix bar stools, while appropriate for many venues, didn’t add anything to the space.

New Bar Design

New Bar Design

The transformation made all the difference. From a characterless, unremarkable area, the bar became a focal point for the establishment, with our Venice Cane Bar Stools and the bamboo matting on the bar. Green under-bar lighting completed the feel of a tropical oasis, with an authentic beach scene from home topping the area off.

Venice Cane Metal Bar Stool

Note how the addition of a simple bar stool can turn a venue around. Our Venice Cane Metal Bar Stools add just the right touch of tropical paradise to the bar’s feel.

restaurant seating

Constructed with a durable fully welded black metal frame, our Venice Cane Metal Bar Stool features a woven cane backrest and the choice of a wood or fabric/vinyl upholstered seat. With a wood back finish in either black or natural color and under seat reinforcement bars, this strong stool is perfect for high-traffic areas, and serves as a comfortable and stylish seating solution for any bar area.

"I can’t even speak, how happy I am right now. How relieved I feel," Julio exclaimed upon seeing the new design. "Our dream was to open a restaurant, all our lives," Debbie remarked. With the help of Kitchen Nightmares and Affordable Seating, Debbie and Julio’s dream is now becoming a reality.

Next time you’re in Yonkers, be sure to check out the new El Cantito. You will be glad you did.

Find out about what people are saying about the restaurant at El Cantito Yelp Reviews

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