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Cantuta Cafe serves up Peruvian delights

By Staff | Sep 29, 2014

A new Peruvian eatery has opened in Charles Town. The Cantuta Cafe, operated by Etel Garro Cerrate, welcomes all who wish to experience a bit of her country through cuisine.

Garro Cerrate, a Peruvian artist, poet teacher and event promoter who lives in Harpers Ferry, came to the United States in 2000. She had previously had a studio in Bolivar with hopes of opening her cafe in that location; however, the house was destroyed by fire last year. Finding the former Jumpin’ Java location on Washington Street in Charles Town vacant, she stepped in and is now offering a pleasant gathering place with a variety of tasty treats.

Garro Cerrate delights in sharing her Peruvian culture and cuisine with other people, and has a vision of downtown Charles Town as a lively cultural and commercial center with many varied attractions. She has been both a prize-winning artist as well as a teacher at both the primary and secondary levels in Peru, and in the United States she co-produced a festival of Andean film in Arlington, Virginia.

She hopes that Cantuta Cafe will become a place for cultural activities as well as a meeting and dining place for the people of Charles Town.

Located at 109 W. Washington Street, the cafe offers fine coffee, handmade fruit juices and fresh food including Peruvian-style pizza.

“I am bringing Peru to the United States,” Garro Cerrate said. She sees the cafe as a new option offering something different to diners in the area.

Open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, allows Etel to continue to offer an opportunity for art interests in the morning hours. She has hopes of developing an art project, perhaps a mural, for the town.

Visions for the cafe also include a possible open mic time for music, history and poetry sharing. She envisions the cafe as a destination for groups to gather for special occasions.

Reservations are not needed but can be made by calling 304-724-1387. Guests are encouraged to pair their favorite beverage with a new taste of Peruvian cuisine.