o-owners and lifelong friends from the nation of Colombia Alex Herrera and Alv Garcia have opened a new café’, Valsos, at 123 Shirley Avenue.
The café’ and bakery bring a touch of Newbury Street to the city with its elegant interior design and the outdoor seating area that will happen this spring.
The spacious new café also continues the resurgence of Shirley Avenue as envisioned by Mayor Brian Arrigo with new residences and new businesses being developed on the well-known street that leads toward Revere Beach.
Of course, customers wanted to know the significance of the name “Valsos.”
“Valsos is named after our daughters and the legacy of our families,” explained Herrera. “Alv’s daughter is named Valentina and my daughter is Sofia so Valsos is a combination of both of them.”
Both owners attended school together in Colombia and arrived in the United States as teenagers. Alex attended Newbury College where he received his degree in the culinary arts.
“I started working in big restaurants in Boston as executive chef and then I worked at Antonia’s On the Beach for over a dozen years,” said Alex. “I had a restaurant in the North End for over six years.”
Garcia also entered the restaurant industry and stayed in touch with his friend.
The opportunity to oversee their own restaurant came forward two years ago and that’s when the two men opened Valsos Restaurant and Bar just down the street at 139 Shirley Avenue.
“This business is more of a café and bakery as opposed to our other restaurant at the corner,” said Alex. “We’re excited to be in the community. I’ve been working in Revere for the last 18 years so it’s like my hometown.”
The bakery has pan quesos (Colombian-style bagels) in addition to many other pastry choices and foods.
“We want to be creative and cook everything in house,” said Alex. “We strive to keep the quality and the consistency.”
Alex thanked Mayor Brian Arrigo, Ward 2 Councilor Ira Novoselsky and local real estate agent Lou Markakis for their assistance in the opening of the café.