With big dreams and enormous amount of might and effort, Miguel came to New York City in the early 1960's starting his first job at $1.25hr. But soon, the strong entrepreneur found himself investing in a business on Clinton Street for $5,000 in 1968, after years of hard work and with the support of his beloved wife Irene. In 1986, Don Miguel purchased El Castillo de la Jagua from its previous owners. In 1987, however, this proved to be a challenge on itself, considering the neighborhood's high prevalence of crime and drugs at the time made them doubt their investment plenty of times, but Don Miguel was determined and his persistence did pay off at the end.
The name of the restaurant originated from the Jagua Fortress, which is a fortress on the south of Cienfuegos in Cuba were Benny Moré, the Cuban singer was born. This fortress was created in 1745 as means of protection against the Caribbean pirates and as such, the restaurant was named by its previous owners who were also cuban. This location has been a part of the neighborhood for over 40 Years, creating a home for all the Spanish people that would come to NYC.
Some notable and famous figures that have dined at El Castillo de Jagua include actress Rosie Perez, Luis Garcia, Luis Guzman, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Romeo Santos, Tito Nieves, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Mayor Ed Koch, Luis Rivera, and Puerto Rican Reggaeton sensation, Daddy Yankee. So whether you are Dominican, Puerto Rican, Cuban or just somebody
looking to taste the splendor of the Caribbean, this Lower East Side gem will
make you feel just like you are right at home!