Honoring its reputation as a cultural institution, The Valls Group announced the 50th Anniversary celebration of its famed Cuban restaurant, Versailles, by asking a simple question: “WHAT’S YOUR VERSAILLES STORY?” The restaurant is partnering with the HistoryMiami Museum, inviting the local community and Versailles enthusiasts to submit materials and personal stories to create a public archive of memories related to Versailles and the Cuban exile experience. The partnership with the museum is especially timely now as communities work to legitimize the Cuban voice amid protests against the communist regime on the island of Cuba, and the subsequent solidarity of the Cuban and Latino populations demonstrated at the restaurant and around the world.
“This important benchmark for the restaurant comes at a crucial time for the Cuban people, and we are proud to continue what we do in celebrating our culture and our patrons in this meaningful way,” said Felipe Valls Jr., president of the Valls Group.
The official celebration day for the 50th Anniversary will be on November 10. The restaurant will host a public celebratory event (with more details to be disclosed later). It will display submitted materials selected by independent curators. In addition, a coinciding project with EXILE Books will commission local artists to make original work inspired by the Versailles and HistoryMiami Museum’s archive.
“It is a great honor to bring Versailles and our local institution, HistoryMiami Museum, together. Aside from gastronomical significance, the restaurant has always served as a place for cultural exchange, not only for the Cuban diaspora but for the international city of Miami and all of its visitors,” said Alex Valls, who leads the initiative for Valls Group. “To open this up to the HistoryMiami Museum means giving our community authorship of their own experiences for a legitimate and public platform,” she added.
“As we see at this very moment, Versailles is an important hub for the community, and we are excited to be documenting the history of this landmark by creating this new collection at our museum,” said Jorge Zamanillo, executive director of the HistoryMiami Museum.
Founded by Felipe Valls in 1971, The Valls group is a family-owned business rooted in their Cuban-American heritage as proud political exiles. They now own several South Florida staples such as the famous La Carreta, the Spanish fine-dining restaurant Casa Juancho, CASACUBA, and of course, Versailles. Over the years, Versailles has become “the” gathering place for the Cuban-American exile community and a destination for worldwide press covering Miami. And of course, Versailles is an essential stop for U.S. presidents, world leaders, tourists, and visiting celebrities searching for an authentic taste of Miami culture.