Three Puerto Rican Mayors Visit Shaw Main Streets
On Friday, July 2, 2021, mayors from three cities in #PuertoRico, Yauco, Utuado and Guayanilla, visited Shaw Main Streets at the suggestion of the Main Street America's National Main Street Center. The mayors were in DC visiting federal government agencies and members of Congress and wanted to see an example of the Main Street Four Point Approach in operation.
SMS Executive Director Alex Padro, whose paternal grandparents were born in Puerto Rico, welcomed the eight-member delegation at Grand Cata Latin Wine Shop, an example of a successful Pueto Rican (and Chilean American) owned SMS business.
The group next went to Compass Coffee's flagship store on 7th Street, where District Manager Jessica Hubbard gave the group a tour of the operation after discussing where Compass' coffee beans are grown. Yauco Mayor Angel Luis Luigi Torres Ortiz made sure Jessica knew that Yauco is internationally known for the quality of its coffee. Indeed, the city is known as "La Ciudad del Cafe" ("The City of Coffee" in Spanish). Padro offered that Pope John XXIII only drank Café Yaucono. Utuado Mayor Jorge A. Pérez Heredia made sure all knew that his city had recently planted hundreds of coffee plants.
After sampling some of Compass' coffee drinks and dicussing the prospects for statehood for both Puerto Rico and the District, the group moved on to dinner at Qui Qui DC (www.quiquidc.com), the new Puerto Rican restaurant on the second floor of the adjacent bar, The Passenger. Chef/Owner Ismael Mendez was grateful for the group's patronage and asked all to sign his Puerto Rican flag-draped autograph wall after enjoying a delicious dinner of authentic dishes.
Two chauffeur-driven black Cadillac Escalades provided by U Street Parking transported all to City Market at O Street for a visit to that award-winning mixed use development. Guayanilla Mayor Raul Rivera Alcalde 2020 agreed with his colleagues that at almost 80,000 square feet, the Giant Food store is larger than Home Depots in Puerto Rico.
After a stroll through City Market, a tour of 7th and 9th Streets ended in Little Ethiopia, where the visitors witnessed Shaw's vibrant nightlife before returning to their hotel.
"It was a "gran placer" ("great pleasure") to share Shaw Main Streets' success stories with "los tres alcaldes" ("the three mayors")," said Padro. "I'd love to see Main Street help transform towns and cities in Puerto Rico the way that Central Shaw has been revitalized. We wish them "gran exito" ("great success").