Las Palmeras gets new owner; reopens as Cruzado

By on July 30, 2012

Photo courtesy of Cruzado

Midtown’s longstanding Cuban restaurant extends operating hours; adds Sunday brunch.

Las Palmeras, a 20-year-old Cuban restaurant, at 366 5th Street in Midtown, is now under new ownership.

Grace Lee, known in Atlanta for her restaurant review site “Atlanta G Spots,” which identifies the city’s finest eateries as such, purchased Las Palmeras late June, she told What Now Atlanta in a telephone interview.

Lee plans on reinventing the popular Cuban spot by giving the space a face-lift in addition to recreating the menu.

Most recently, Lee renamed the restaurant “Cruzado,” which in Mexico means “cheers” or “bottoms up,” and in Colombia means, “crossing,” she said.

“Since Cruzado is on the corner of 5th and Durant, I felt the new name was fitting,” Lee told WNA. “My plan to create a menu of fused cuisines or a crossing of flavors, also suits the new name.”

Although the menu will remain predominately Cuban, Lee told WNA new items will feature Puerto Rican and Colombia flavors under the direction of Patric Bell, Cruzado’s executive chef.

Bell formerly helmed the West Egg Cafe kitchen.

Cruzado has also extended its hours of operation: Tuesday – Friday, 11AM – 10PM; Saturday, 11AM – 11PM and for  Sunday brunch, 11AM – 4PM.

Cruzado will host its first Sunday brunch on August 5.

About Caleb J. Spivak

CJS is the Founder of What Now Atlanta. He was recently featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch in 2012," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA was named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine.


  1. blaquemano

    July 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    off to a bit of a rough start, terrible service

  2. Eric@Ecco

    July 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Cheers! Go get ‘em, Grace!

  3. Laura

    July 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    R.I.P. Las Palmeras. What an incredible, terrible shame.

  4. Stephen NaShaun Pender

    July 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I had a great experience on my visit. Looking forward to trying the new dishes. Ciao!

  5. chad....

    July 31, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Sad….I always enjoyed Las Palmeras…..

  6. Brad

    August 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Awww dangit.

  7. Ricardo Muniz

    August 2, 2012 at 2:19 am

    I agree, terrible service, and the food…needs improvement. So bloggers are now restaurant professionals? I love that. What a shame, good bye to Las Palmeras. Good luck. Buena suerte (which in Spanish means good luck, not just in Columbia or Mexico.)

  8. Carlos

    August 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm


    I agree that service could be better but I have to say that, as a cuban, the food was great. Reminds me a lot to my homemade meals back home.
    FYI, Columbia is a university and not a country…

    Why do people say RIP las palmeras? If you bother going in there, you would realize that the essence is the same but with much needed improvements visually and menu-wise. I know Felipe (Las Palmeras owner) and he would’ve not given his much beloved business to someone who he didn’t believe was capable of handling it and honoring it. I haven’t met the new owner yet but I heard nothing but great things about her.

    Still a beginner business in my opinion but with a lot of potential. Worth a visit!

  9. Chris

    August 2, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    My wife and I were big fans of the original restaurant, and we decided to give the new restaurant a try. Our service was ok, and the dishes we tried were good even though they were prepared a little differently than what we had come to expect. However, we were disappointed in the reduced menu. Bring back the pisto manchego!

  10. Stejay

    August 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Well, as a resident who moved in nearby the year after the Alverez family opened Las Palmeras, I was incredibly sad! Wait, give it a try, I told myself. Very disappointed so far. Mrs. Alverez, can I come over to your house please?

  11. Valora

    August 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I loved the original restaurant because it was such a neighborhood gem. Their rotisserie chicken was positively succulent, some of the best I have ever had. This new venture has big shoes to fill…

  12. Alison

    August 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I was a huge fan of las Palmeras, and I’ve been twice to give Cruzado a try. I think they are slowing transitioning away from the old menu, and many of the best items are dissappearing. It’s definitely not las Palmeras anymore, and commenters are right – it’s a shame to lose such a well loved restaurant and neighboorhood fixture.

    Cruzado has not established themselves as something unique yet, so just seems like a poor copy of an original. Service was definitely poor – the waitress didn’t know the menu and we hardly ever saw her. It took forever to place an order and water was refilled maybe twice.

    It may be worth another try in a few months, but it’s no longer on my list of must go places.

  13. Joker

    September 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    How can the guy from West Egg Cafe be expected to make Cuban / Mexican / Colombian food worth a damn?

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