A brand new crypto-themed restaurant in Clearwater Seaside hopes to take prospects to the moon with a mixture of fine meals and an introduction to the world of cryptocurrency.
When the Crypto Road Restaurant opened its doorways in December, proprietor Ricardo Varona needed an ambiance that may set his institution other than different eateries within the space. Due to his son, Varona not too long ago grew to become a believer in blockchain expertise and digital forex and determined to capitalize on the rising momentum behind crypto property.
The restaurant’s décor facilities round crypto tradition. Laminated into the bar are steel cash depicting Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. There are crypto posters, prints of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and a big, colourful mural of a rocket ship heading to the moon encompasses a whole wall.
Varona was born in Puerto Rico and the menu options American and Cuban dishes with crypto-themed names; prospects can begin with an order of “SHIBA Shrimp Cocktail,” adopted by a “Crypto Cuban” or “The Blockchain Membership.” For dessert, there may be the “Bitcoinana Cut up.”
“A couple of 12 months and a half in the past, I began moving into it,” mentioned Varona. “Earlier than, I used to commerce shares rather a lot, and now I’m like 10% shares and 90% crypto.”
As cryptocurrency has grown in reputation, so has the variety of companies that take it as cost. Nonetheless, most corporations solely settle for the 2 largest cash by market capitalization – bitcoin and ethereum. Varona accepts virtually any coin somebody presents him.
“Simply yesterday, we had someone pay with dogecoin,” he mentioned. “I’d say most likely 5 or 6 occasions we’ve taken bitcoin, after which we’ve taken shiba inu someday and cardano a few occasions as nicely.”
Varona retains a binder with barcode printouts of his crypto wallets to make digital cost processing fast and simple. He has additionally taught his servers the process, permitting them to course of the funds when he isn’t within the restaurant. Whereas the restaurant is geared in direction of folks new to the world of cryptocurrency, Varona mentioned his employees is completely satisfied to serve the early adopters that pay and tip digitally.
“Everybody has been actually beneficiant with tipping our servers,” mentioned Varona. “The folks that pay with crypto, it’s tremendous good at all times.”
If a buyer ideas in cryptocurrency, Varona presents his servers the choice to redeem it with the restaurant for money.
Verano needs his restaurant to assist folks study concerning the world of cryptocurrency. Along with the aforementioned décor, Verano shows definitions of widespread crypto and blockchain phrases on the partitions. Varona, 52, mentioned these illustrations assist older people like himself perceive the language. Varona additionally shows the newest crypto costs on screens for his prospects to maintain up with the typically speedy fluctuations.
Whereas the crypto group tends to skew youthful, Varona appreciates the camaraderie the restaurant and its patrons have introduced him.
“They’re like my buddies,” mentioned Varona. “They make me really feel like I’m lower than half my age as a result of they’re tremendous cool, and so they love and respect it.”
Varona mentioned he additionally enjoys the older crowds, as a result of like him, they’re simply studying, and lots of have been additionally launched to cryptocurrency by their kids or grandchildren.
Positioned at 309 Coronado Dr., on the bottom degree of the Residence Inn by Marriott on Clearwater Seaside, Varona mentioned most of his prospects are vacationers. Nonetheless, he mentioned 80% of patrons that pay with cryptocurrency are locals. He mentioned he’s pleasantly shocked by the keenness that exists in Pinellas County for digital property.
“I do know there’s just a little bit extra exercise in Miami,” mentioned Varona. “However that doesn’t imply we’re not doing good right here.”
Crypto Road Restaurant is Wednesday via Sunday, from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m. Varona mentioned he plans to open seven days per week in February.
For extra data, go to its web site here.