Restaurant reinvents its former self

Have you seen Mangoes lately? Have you eaten at Mangoes lately? Mangoes is back, better, and ready to win Key West’s foodie heart all over again. Here’s the skinny: businessman Daniel Dingeman bought Mangoes from beloved restauranteur Amy Culver in 2006 and leased it for 10 years to local restauranteur Joe Walsh. When the lease ended, Dingeman opted for the unusual choice —he took over the restaurant. Dingeman had never run a restaurant before, so he hit the books, talked to folks and learned everything about running the show.

“Mangoes is on the fifty yard line of Duval Street,” said Dingeman, “It should be a center for Key Westers.” Dingeman’s goal was to revitalize Mangoes into a localsplace again. He has taken to heart the fine line between catering to locals and tourists. He believes one does not have to exclude the other.

For any Key West restaurant, food is first and foremost. Dingeman enlisted famed local Chef Martin Liz and his friend, Chef De Cuisine Kathleen Sefcik who know Key West’s culinary standards and strive to exceed them. The pair have worked together for over a decade and immediately crafted a unique menu dedicated to native natural cuisine.

“The menu is a blend Caribbean, Bahamian, Haitian, Cuban, and Jamaican flavors,” said Chef Liz, “but with attention to classic French preparation.” Chef Liz recommended trying his Curry Lamb Chop with Djon Djon, a Haitian Creole rice.

Next up was the atmosphere, Dingeman gutted every inch of the restaurant and rebuilt it into an exquisite bistro, bar and party lovers dream. Completely overhauled, the restaurant, including the kitchen, and has been transformed into a chic, inviting eatery and nightspot. Now, the entire restaurant is “event” ready. With four separate downstairs spaces: the bistro area, the bar, the indoor/outdoor dining room and Starlight lounge area, spaces can be utilized and combined for private events. The Voo Doo lounge is still upstairs and will see renovations in the future.

Steve Englund signed up as general manager who’s lengthy resume includes businesses such as Shula’s, Cafe Des Artistes, Turtle Kraals, La Trattoria and The Marc House. Also, Dingeman’s son, Jack, will be helping his dad run the operation making it a family affair.

Aside from the amazing happy hour specials, Mangoes wants locals’ holiday parties. They are offering a complimentary site fee and Happy Hour bar pricing for events held November 15 through January 31, 2017.  Don’t hesitate to head back to 700 Duval, they’re waiting.

Local’s  Special: Now thru Dec 31st  2-1 Happy Hour with 50 % off entrees, live entertainment  5-8 p.m. (excluding special events and holidays) 7 days a week.

“Key West culture is unique to this industry, said Dingeman, “We had to put a lot of thought into what the community wanted, needed and missed.”

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