62 Charles Street, NYC
Owners: Jose Lloves and Bienvenido Alvarez
The area in Manhattan around 14th Street and Eighth Avenue was known as Little Spain as early as 1900. In addition to community resources like the Spanish Benevolent Society, the neighborhood was also home to a wealth of Spanish restaurants. Sevilla, which began life as an Irish pub in 1923, opened as a Spanish restaurant in 1941 under the direction of Luis Fernandez and Alfonso Uchupi. In 1962 the chef Jose Lloves bought it. Ten years later his brother Bienvenido Alvarez joined as a partner. At Sevilla the walls are decorated with bull heads and oil paintings of busty doñas. The deep and discreet booths are lit by glowing lanterns. The cocktail list is a time capsule of stingers, grasshoppers, and brandy Alexanders. Waiters wearing burgundy vests and bow ties serve tableside from covered metal cazuelas. And regulars flock for shrimp with green sauce, mariscada with hot garlic sauce, veal chops, and pitchers of sangria.
The America's Classic award is given to restaurants with timeless appeal, each beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community. Establishments must have been in existence for at least ten years and be locally owned.