Tallahassee restaurant Carlos Cuban Grill closes as owners retire

Helena V Berbie
Carlos' Cuban Grill is closed Thursday, July 8, 2021.

Carlos’ Cuban Grill served its final customer on Friday, July 2.

“Carlos and Anne have finally retired!” a post by the restaurant’s Facebook page read. “Thank you, Tallahassee for all your love and support. Friends and family relationships were made here and they will be cherished…Take care and Cuban on.”

Since opening on Capital Circle in 2009, the popular fast-casual restaurant has secured its place as a staple Tallahassee restaurant with its authentic pressed sandwiches and arroz con pollo. 

Longtime owners Carlos and Anne Pla previously operated Carlos’ Cuban Café, which opened in 1998. 

Other recent restaurant closures:

“It’s the best Cuban food in any Florida city apart from Miami,” said 74-year-old Gary Elmore, who has been eating at Carlos and Anne’s restaurants since the late ’90s with his wife, Jill Elmore. “My favorite is the classic Cuban sandwich and pork dishes.”

Gary had a heart transplant operation in 2016. After that, Carlos always asked about his health. 

Carlos' Cuban Grill is closed Thursday, July 8, 2021.

“It made me feel like we had a bond,” Gary said. “Carlos was always so nice and hard working.”

Gary and Jill remembered a conversation with Carlos about retiring to his then-recently purchased home near Jacksonville. 

“They were commuting to and from Fernandina Beach for a year,” Jill Elmore said. “It was not a surprise when I heard they were closing down to retire.”

Carlos' Cuban Grill is closed Thursday, July 8, 2021.

“I will miss the food,” she said. “But they will be so happy in retirement. It’s well deserved.”

The Tallahassee Democrat was unable to reach Carlos and Anne for a comment on this story. 

Contact Christopher Cann at [email protected] and follow @ChrisCannFL on Twitter.

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