Danzón Cubano is a tribute to the Cuban people, their history, their culture, and their perseverance in the face of trials. Our restaurant was inspired by Carlos Hidalgo, a gentleman born in Havana, Cuba. His father, Julio Hidalgo, a businessman and well-known big game fisherman, was a close friend of Ernest Hemingway—they fished together in Cuba, Key West and the Bahamas. Carlos came to the United States when he was 15 years-old as part of Operation Peter Pan—”Operación Pedro Pan”—an under the radar program that from 1960 to 1962 brought more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the USA as exiles from the Communist regime of Fidel Castro.
When he left Cuba, Carlos barely knew English, had $5 in his pocket and a change of clothes. He credits the kindness of the American people for opening their arms of freedom to a boy who had nothing to offer. Today, he is a successful businessman and contributor to our West Michigan community. Carlos inspired us to create Danzón Cubano, and we want to dedicate the first and only authentic Cuban restaurant in Grand Rapids to his story and the many other millions of stories of Americans who have immigrated to the United States from all over the world and contributed to this beautiful country. Stories like Carlos’ have been and will continue to be the building block of the American dream, in which with persistence, dedication and hard work, you can build a successful life and contribute to the well-being of this nation.
Please take advantage of call ahead seating as we do not take reservations.