A duende is a fairy- or goblin-like mythological creature in Spanish folklore. Duendes are believed to be of a small stature wearing big hats, whistling a mystical tune, while walking in the forest where they dwell. One view of folklore would have you believe they are mischievous and furtive, luring young girls from their paths deep into the woods; in another, they are quiet and kindly aides to people lost in the forest, helping them find their way home.
Duende is a difficult-to-define concept in Spanish art, including performing arts. The closest English translation of “tener duende” (having duende) is “having soul,” and is an idea often applied in an attempt to describe the mysterious powers, both light and dark, of flamenco. Duende may be described as the force that animates art, deeply related to emotion, expression, and authenticity. “All arts are capable of duende…” Federico Garcia Lorca, “The duende, then, is a power and not a construct, is a struggle and not a concept. I have heard an old guitarist, a true virtuoso, remark, “The duende is not in the throat, the duende comes up from inside, up from the very soles of the feet.” That is to say, it is not a question of aptitude, but of a true and viable style – of blood, in other words; of what is oldest in culture: of creation made act.” Federico Garcia Lorca”The duende’s arrival always means a radical change in forms. It brings to old planes unknown feelings of freshness, with the quality of something newly created, like a miracle, and it produces an almost religious enthusiasm.” Federico Garcia Lorca
The Restaurant + Bar
DUENDE’s inspirational touchstone is authentic regional Spanish cuisine, however, we will use this touchstone as a jumping off point for free-form culinary improvisations. We will not not be serving Spanish “museum” food. Yet we love the flexibility of the Spanish menu format, giving our guests the ability to create a dining experience that suits their desires of the moment. Also, it gives us a wide creative berth in terms of ethnic influences matching our seasonality. Our cuisine will be comprised of local, sustainable ingredients from farmers and ranchers with whom we have had long and rich relationships. Our intense desire for creative expression will result in daily-changing menus that are dynamic and ever evolving.
DUENDE’s full service bar will be intimate, inviting, boisterous, and incredibly fun. Guests will enjoy specialty cocktails and an expertly-curated selection of Spanish and local wines and beers, each of which will enhance bar offerings of house-made embutidos (cured meats), artisan quesos (cheese), and other various meriendas (bar snacks). The bar space will act both as a unique and complete experience unto itself, as well as a place for dinner guests to enjoy the exuberance and vitality of the bar (“hang”) as they eagerly anticipate their DUENDE restaurant experience during prime dining hours.
DUENDE Restaurant + Bar will be unpretentious and accessible and will encourage customers to enjoy visiting it weekly, or more often. Like duende the art concept, the aesthetic of DUENDE the restaurant will be cool, deep, heartfelt, and soulful.