2000-Lower East Side Manhattan, NY: Kevin was the chef at COUP on 6th street and Idalia waitressed at a restaurant a few blocks away when they first met. Kevin became a part of Idalia’s Puerto Rican family in Connecticut; a place where Spanish was spoken and rice and beans were often a part of the “menu”. Sounds of Salsa competed with WAPA and Don Francisco, while Kevin became a regular in the family kitchen, falling in love with Puerto Rican cuisine via mami’s cooking.
2000-2006- NYC: While working in NYC restaurants, Kevin and Idalia started searching for the right “locale” in Brooklyn to start a place of their own. Every year, they visited Puerto Rico to celebrate Three Kings Day; which is also Kevin’s birthday. Along with visiting family members, they would travel to Vieques or Culebra, passing through Las Croabas, Fajardo- a place they loved because of its laid back, fishing village vibe.
Here are some Favorite things to do in PR
Kayaking Bio Bay, Laguna Grande, Las Croabas, Fajardo
Snorkeling La Cordillera de Fajardo (Spanish Virgin Islands)
Seven Seas Beach
Horseback Riding or ATV El Yunque Rainforest
2006: Humble Beginnings, Puerto Rico: On one of these visits to the Fajardo, the couple accidentally stumbled upon an abandoned ESSO gas station. They made the decision to invest in Puerto Rico and relocate while sipping on coquito with the then owners; sealing the deal with just a brief handshake. Three months later, they stood on the lot of what would become La Estacion. Kevin and Idalia cleaned, repaired and built everything themselves, opening with just four tables and a backyard grill.
Present Day: Kevin and Idalia are still the owners and active operators of La Estacion…on the same lot. They are now a family of four that many customers/friends have seen grow in these past 12 years.
Here is a Recipe for one of our signature cocktails inspired by this “business deal “and our move which was a test of endurance and hard knocks.
Cocotazo..(originated by Idalia Garcia): a cocotazo is the knuckle to the head you got as a kid when you said or did something wrong. Our Cocotazo is a vodka martini inspired by our island’s Xmas coquito. It tastes like a liquid tembleque (a classic PR dessert) and goes down way too smooth.