Columbian culture is vibrant and you can’t miss out to visit Bogota Latin Bistro in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York. This spot serves food in a friendly and stylish manner, making you feel that you are in Columbia. Music and artistic walls further encourage Columbian culture. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served on weekdays and on weekends they dish up breakfast, brunch, and dinner. It is an award winning restaurant for serving Latin food. It is often called as “Brooklyn’s Hottest Latin restaurant”.
About Bogota Latin Bistro
Gay Couple George Constantinou Fernandez and Farid Ali Lancheros started Bogota Latin Bistro Restaurant and Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn in 2005 with 120 seats and employed 60 people. George is half Costa Rican and Farid is half Columbian. The highest paid employee who joined them as a dishwasher is their Kitchen Manager now.
Bogota Latin Bistro was opened after 4 years of research in creation and management of a successful business. They went to a bunch of workshops based on entrepreneurship. They joined a 16-week course that helped them to map a business plan for Bogota Latin Bistro.
George and Farid attended the Brooklyn Business library’s entrepreneurial fair and figured out library’s Business Plan competition, POWER UP for young start-ups who need capital. It was sponsored by Citigroup Foundation. Registered candidates were provided classes on creating a Business Plan, Budgeting, and marketing followed by submission of their own business plan.
In late 2003, George and Farid spent hours in library learning and researching all about the restaurant Business and went home with POWER UP. They were awarded the top prize of $10,000 in cash and $10,000 in business related services. The competition’s prize money was not enough to open a fine restaurant like Bogota Latin Bistro but motivated them to visualize a restaurant by winning among 125 applicants.
Prize money and the winning Business Plan was enough to encourage them for increasing the credibility of their business plan for bankers and accountants.
Story of Bogota
Their menu was inspired by Farid’s hometown Bogota, Columbia and explored other places of South America and Central America thus pick some traditional tips along the way.
“We’ve dreamed of this restaurant for several years. We are gratified for the support, encouragement, and enthusiastic reception we’ve received from the community and our customers since we opened.”
Their recipes take inspiration from their journey throughout Latin America, George mother’s favorite recipes and the cooking classes they attended in Manhattan.
In 2001, George approached Farid who was working with a law firm in Manhattan with an idea of starting a Pan-Latin American restaurant. George had prior experience of 20 years in managing a restaurant in Pennsylvania.
15 Banks refused to pass loan but the day came when HSBC bank went through their paperwork and passed their loan worth $100,000.
They combined the loan money with top prize money of $20,000 for inaugural Brooklyn business plan competition.
They were recently awarded SBA’s 2013 New York District Office Small Business Person of the Year Award for their great work towards the community.
They spent two years in networking and socializing, handing out and collecting business cards. After hard work of two years they secured capital and a space named as “Brooklyn’s hottest destination strip” at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn summarized by New York Times.
Bogota Latin Bistro owners started chronicling about their milestones and achievements on their blog.
In July 2005, Bogota Latin Bistro organized an opening ceremony for their restaurant with chief guest Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz Councilmember Leticia James and other local dignitaries also joined in.
Interior of Bogota Latin Bistro is designed by architect Kate Webb and has colorful paintings celebrating Latin culture placed behind the bar in the back patio painted by local artists.
“We are extremely proud of what we have created. It’s an incredible restaurant. The story of Bogota Latin Bistro is one of determination, discipline, faith and a lot of hard work. It doesn’t get better than that for me.”
Bogota Latin Bistro is active on Facebook and Instagram.
If you search for the Best Columbian restaurant in Brooklyn NY on Google, this is what we get:
Bogota Latin Bistro is entirely dedicated to elevating the status of Columbian cuisine, culture via food, drink, art, music, and hospitality. They are effortlessly inspired by Latin America and offers a diverse menu to the New York, serving them since 2005.
Signature dishes of Bogota are many kinds of Empanadas and Arepas, Bandeja Paisa, Arroz con pollo, Fritanga, and Columbian breakfast.
Business Goals of Bogota Latin Bistro
Bogota Latin Bistro’s business objective is to encourage and spread the Latin / Columbian culture in the society with their great Columbian food, art, and music. Thus, people visiting find themselves enjoying their own culture while staying in Brooklyn.
George and Farid with a unique mindset wanted to create a restaurant with spirit, enthusiasm and with a dynamic energy which can match the menu of the country they both love.
Their future goals are to build a customer base for their sister concern restaurant Miti Miti Taperia and nurturing their son and daughter with best education and childhood.
Strategy adopted by Bogota Latin Bistro
Bogota Latin Bistro adopted following strategies:
- Created a separate Google Adwords account for Bogota Latin Bistro
- Chose target keywords as Columbian Restaurant, Latin restaurant in New York and Brooklyn etc
Results achieved by Bogota Latin Bistro
- Using Google Adwords, they reached new customers
- Website traffic got a spike of 50% out of which 10-12% people came through the doors
Learnings by Bogota Latin Bistro
- Gone are the days when start-ups took the time to rise
- Seek continual improvement
- Leaders in service and hospitality business
- Honesty, trust, and integrity are their beliefs
- Ongoing development and training for the team
- Passionate about winning
- They believe in doing business in professional and orderly manner
- Bogota pays personal attention and care to the guests which drive them back
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