Joseph Esposito bought Café Seville thirteen years ago from its original owners. He had originally come to South Florida to join family and to pursue his career path as a chef restaurateur. “I found out Café Seville was for sale, and I bought it. I loved the restaurant since I first discovered it.”
It’s easy to see why. Café Seville is authentic, and that it is exactly what has kept people coming back for years. It did, however, take some time. “The restaurant was not what it is today. It took about four years to turn it around. We weathered the storm; I’m not sure how, but we did and we did it as a family,” Joe says proudly.
Family is a key word in the success of Café Seville. Joe is clear that “people need to feel like they have come into my home.
I want them to feel like family. It’s worked. I have customers who I don’t see for a few weeks and when they come in, I welcome them like family.” It is not just the customers that benefit from the family atmosphere. The staff, too, have been there for years. The chef, José Feuntes, has in fact been at the restaurant since the beginning.
Nestled in a quaint, small and romantic setting, seating only 49 guests with a small wine bar to which customers flock, Café Seville has maintained its reputation for offering spectacular and truly authentic cuisine.
Their signature is the traditional dish of Spain, “The Paella,” and as tradition demands, they offer Sangria to accompany it. Their other dishes that regularly pull loyal customers to the establishment include tapas, fresh seafood, chicken, veal, duck, rabbit and pork dishes –?all made to order. They always offer a wonderful range of daily specials which, in combination with their normal menu, offer their customers a plethora of amazing culinary choices. If that wasn’t enough, all their desserts are made fresh and on the premises. They offer a fantastic selection of Spanish wines and beers. Joe says of the food, “I have to give credit to José, my chef. I wouldn’t be where I am today, if it weren’t for him. He is so passionate and inventive with the food.”
So as they celebrate their 25th Anniversary, how are things? Joe says, “Business is steady; we are supported by locals and feel very fortunate.” He went on to say, “Summer is definitely more quiet. However, our clientele does keep us busy all year round.”
Café Seville, though not within the gayborhood, has a huge following from the community who have fallen in love with the food and the friendly family atmosphere that is offered.
When asked about the gay community, Joe is quick to point out, “We enjoy all of our customers and the support they
provide.” He goes on to speak of changes in the community since he has been in Florida. “It is definitely more open and, because of that openness, people understand and embrace it in a very positive way.” He also sees that having a business that caters to the gay community does not in any way minimize the potential for all types of customers to visit the restaurant. “I feel part of the community.
I have many gay friends. In fact, in the beginning none of them knew about the restaurant. I just said ‘come and try the food.’”
Café Seville is located at 2768 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL. To make reservations, please call (954) 565-1148.