Andrew Moore and Bernal Monestel’s dream became a reality with the opening of Mundoloco El Chante restaurant, bar and live music venue Sept. 13 in San Pedro, east of San José.
Their mission is to mix technology with roots and tradition with avant-garde, to create an eclectic space for people to share and enjoy alternative music, styles and good vibes.
“We want to be something different, a place for thinking people, intelligent people, people concerned about the environment, and those concerned about social problems,” Monestel said. “We don’t need to search for these people. They exist.”
The two met through their love of music. Monestel has been on a mission to promote underground music for more than 20 years through his Mundoloco radio program and as a music producer. As a fan of the radio program, Moore began calling bands and musicians to see if they would be interested in coming to Costa Rica to play on Monestel’s show. Five years ago, Moore began working with Monestel at Jazz Café, where until recently Mundoloco produced concerts every Monday at the San Pedro venue and every Tuesday in Escazú on the west side.
Mundoloco El Chante will offer live music ranging from jazz, electronic and lounge to roots reggae, ska and calypso, Tuesday through Saturday. With such diversity of musical genres, Monestel and Moore envision a place that anyone from students to older adults will enjoy.
“I have a lot of confidence in this place,” Monestel said.
Industrial designer Paco Cervilla designed the venue. Features such as stage lights, dark wood furniture and warm red and orange hues have transformed the former Chinese restaurant into a hip nightspot.
Chef Raymond Johnson, former chef of Café Mundo, will be in charge of the kitchen at Mundoloco El Chante. Initially, the restaurant will be open for dinner only. Moore said the cuisine will include pizza, pasta and “the craziest hamburgers in the world.” Future plans are to add a lunch menu and extend the fare to include Arabic, Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine.
Mundoloco El Chante is across the street from Banco Popular on the main road in San Pedro. On nights with live music, the cover charge is ₡3,000 ($6), or ₡2,000 ($4) for students. For information, call 2253-4125 or find Mundoloco El Chante on Facebook.