Friday, March 6, 2015

Havana Sandwich Shop Returning Home

The original Havana Sandwich Shop 
Cuban eatery plans to return to their original home

Havana Sandwich Shop plans to reopen their original location by "late spring."  A destination for decades, the original Havana Sandwich Shop was located on Buford Highway near North Druid Hills Road in what is today part of the city of Brookhaven.  

Havana Sandwich Shop was started by the Benedit family.

The first of the Benedits, brothers Eddie and Guido Jr., immigrated to America in 1962. In 1964, their parents Felisa and Guido followed with the third brother, Willie.

A true "family business," the original Havana Sandwich Shop opened on February 9, 1976.  Willie left the business in 1986 to focus on his auto repair company.  

When Guido and Felisa retired in 1996, they left Eddie and his wife Debbie in charge of the restaurant. 

Eddie was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2000, and by early 2001 had succumbed to the disease.  Debbie and her son Eddie Jr. continued to run the family business until a devastating fire closed the restaurant in late 2008.  

In late 2009, Havana Sandwich Shop (Havana Restaurant) reopened in a new, 1,629 square foot location.  Situated within the newly built Crossroads Village shopping center, Havana is likely one of the most significant attractions to the center.  Crossroads Village is anchored by an Aldi and was (previously) also home to a popular and successful location of El Pollo Loco.     

In early 2010, William "Willie" Benedit opened Havana Grill in what was originally a Long John Silver's on Buford Highway in an outparcel of Northeast Plaza. The two "Havana" restaurants were only a few minutes apart and signaled the discord that had developed within the family. Both concepts claimed to be "the" Havana Restaurant.  

Willie's Havana Grill closed in 2011, while Debbie and Eddie Jr. have continued to operate Havana Restaurant at Crossroads Village.  

While calls to Havana Restaurant confirm their plans to reopen in the old location, Bull Realty still shows the 2000 square foot property "for lease" on their site.  The building has been renovated and offers a rebuilt patio.  

Debbie Benedit reports that the reopening would be in addition to, not instead of, the current location.  


Ham said...

Good news I remember eating at the old location, but even though I knew a new location existed I never really went looking for it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, do you know what's going in the former Amura sushi teminus near brick tops? Some work being done.

Anonymous said...

The 2 locations might be separated enough possibly for each to thrive. Chamblee has developed it's own regulars, most of who were not patrons of original Havana from what I have seen. BUT, the N Druid Hills location MUST be the real deal just like before for it to work for both units.

Also, you did not mention it, but Debbie tried a location in Acworth or Canton, or somewhere up there which did not last long.

Finally, the urban campers will be delighted to see Havana come back home. They are probably tired of McD's and Krystal and Honey Baked.

Godspeed to Debbie and her crews.

Anonymous said...

In terms of significance if measured by # of patrons or revenues Havana's next door neighbor, Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit is definitely the powerhouse in crossroads.