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Meet Jorge Cueva of Mr. Tempo in Metro Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jorge Cueva.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a restauranteur and entrepreneur known for my unique style and approach to Latino fusion cuisine. I currently have seven restaurants in Southern California, one in Valle de Guadalupe Mexico and locations opening soon in New York and Las Vegas. The Mr. Tempo brand is expanding to include a winery, beer and new brand of tequila.

I migrated to the United States in 1992 from Guadalajara, Mexico. I was not able to speak English and had little education. One of my first jobs was as a dishwasher in a Seattle, WA restaurant. While there, I got my first look at the restaurant business and decided this was where I wanted to make my mark. During the next several years, I worked in different positions at restaurants including Sharky’s where I became an executive. This allowed me to understand all aspects of running a restaurant.

In 2014, I opened Tempo Cantina in Brea, CA, and the restaurant became popular in less than a year. People came from all over Los Angeles area to try our unique cuisine and enjoy the Latino ambiance. Within three years, we opened two more locations in Anaheim and Downey, and Mr. Tempo became a force on the Southern California restaurant scene. We then went to San Diego and opened the King & Queen Cantina in 2017. King & Queen Cantina very quickly became a nighttime hot spot with a high-end gourmet menu, hand-crafted cocktails and a popular indoor-outdoor bar.

We also launched Tequila Dame Mas, an exclusive handmade extra añejo tequila using agaves matured for eight years and distilled and filtered twice to create a smooth and sophisticated taste. The award-winning tequila is packaged in handmade ceramic bottles for a unique and authentic presentation. Dame Mas is available at all Mr. Tempo restaurants, retailers and online.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
One of the struggles I encountered was creating something that no one believed in. A lot of people told me I wasn’t going to make it and that my concept wasn’t going to work. I had to stay strong, be persistent and believe in what I thought was good for the business.

Please tell us about Mr. Tempo.
The menu at Mr. Tempo restaurants offers an original and contemporary mix of Latino flavors created with the highest quality ingredients that bring a new twist to traditional favorites. The dishes are innovative and made to satisfy and surprise. Each location is decorated with art carefully curated from countries throughout Latin America that embody the culture, style and mood of its varied people. The company operates restaurants under the names Tempo Cantina and King & Queen Cantina.

I am most proud of the culture I created, the level of customer service we provide and the level of success we have achieved. We hear comments from customers that they had never experienced a dining experience before like ours.

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Image Credit:
Mr. Tempo

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