Originally from Southern California, Ralph and Rina Camarillo's first visit to NYC was back in 1979 to see the musical "Zoot Suit", the first all Hispanic play on Broadway. What they didn't know at the time was that this would mark the beginning of a 30-year adventure celebrating their culture as Mexican Americans here in the Big Apple. They loved the city so much that they began bringing their children back for frequent visits over the next three decades. At the time, Ralph owned a construction firm and Rina worked as a flight attendant in California when the idea struck them to help bring the tastes and hospitality of East LA to New York. They broached the idea to their daughter, Gina, son-in-law, Marco, and youngest son Lennard who had also developed a fascination with the Empire City and together they dreamed up what we now know as Florencia 13. With each person adding their talents to the pool(Lennard was involved in real estate, Gina- a high end fashion designer, and Marco- had a business background) they completed the quintet of owners and packed up to start the journey; bringing this aesthetic across the country. As a family, they began personally renovating 185 Sullivan St., and every piece of décor in the restaurant came from California based artists and themes they brought with them.
The grand opening on Cinco de Mayo, 2005 began the creation of their new family, a perfect blend of regular customers, family members, and friends that combine to give Florencia the distinct and innovative style and vibe you can see today.
"The amazing thing about Florencia 13 is the way that everyone feels at home, or rather inspired by their experience here. I mean, half of the artwork on the walls were made by artists who came in, loved their experience and then went home made something and sent it back to the restaurant. People never leave Florencia and think 'Wow that was good' instead they think 'The family gave me something, now what can I give to them'. I stared as a regular, then started helping out when it got busy, and now I work at the restaurant after I get off of working at my full-time job. There is something to be said for a restaurant inspiring that kind of dedication to an already over-committed New York girl" said Erin of her new found familia.
Now you too can experience the addictive vibe of home-style Chicano dining right here in Greenwich Village. Come in and meet the family.