MIAMI – The family of Felipe A. Valls, the owner of what is arguably the most famous Cuban restaurant in Little Havana, has released the dates and times for his funeral services.
First is a wake at the Caballero Rivero Funeral Home on Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m.
This will be followed by another wake on Thursday at the same location from 12 to 10 p.m.
Photography and filming will not be permitted inside the funeral home.
Then, on Friday, a mass in his honor will be held at the Church of the Little Flower at 11 a.m.
After the mass, the funeral procession will head to SW 8 Street and travel east along Felipe Valls Way.
The procession will pause twice – once at La Carreta and then again in front of Versailles.
Valls will be laid to rest at the Woodlawn Park North Cemetery in a private burial ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Jackson Memorial Foundation.
Founded by Cuban-born Valls in 1971, Versailles is a popular restaurant among local Cuban exiles and tourists for its cuisine and connection to anti-Castro politics.
The opening of Versailles Restaurant 51 years ago marked the onset of fulfilling Valls' vision for a Cuban hub.
His goal was to create a place where families could enjoy high quality food at affordable prices. At the time, Little Havana's Calle Ocho had not yet become the bustling business and commerce center it is today. Miami was rapidly increasing in population and diversity, however, and Felipe foresaw this location becoming a central spot in the changing city.
As Valls had hoped, the time and investment spent building and nurturing Versailles paid off. Cuban customers-hungry as much for nostalgia as for food-and the curious Miami locals came in droves. The mass appeal of this Eighth Street restaurant far exceeded his expectations; it drew crowds from all over the globe. Eventually, he opened Versailles Bakery.
An extension of the Versailles brand is Cafe Versailles, a Cuban coffee and pastry stand inspired by the "Ventanita" and bakery. There are currently five Cafe Versailles stands located at the Miami International Airport.
Valls viewed the success and the significance of Versailles as a reflection of his passion and dedication, as well as that of his staff, the patrons and the ever-evolving dynamic of the City of Miami.
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