Taylor Ashley will open Lilia’s Cuban Cafe in Veazie later this spring. Credit: Courtesy of Taylor Ashley

The latest cuisine to join the growing lineup of foods offered at the Korean Dad restaurant space in Veazie hails from one of our neighbors to the south.

Lilia’s Cuban Cafe will begin serving Cuban cuisine later this spring on Saturday mornings and afternoons, offering both breakfast and lunch out of the shared kitchen space at 1492 State St. in Veazie.

Owner Taylor Ashley announced the new pop-up kitchen on Thursday.

Changsu Kristopher Lee opened Korean Dad in 2021, serving Korean food on the weekends. Since then, he has welcomed several other part-time restaurateurs into the building, operating what has turned out to be a kind of restaurant incubator in the Veazie space. The shared kitchen model allows people to get experience in the restaurant industry without spending tens of thousands of dollars on start-up costs.

A third generation Cuban-American originally from southwest Florida, Ashley said that he learned the art of Cuban cooking from his grandparents. The restaurant is named after his great-grandmother, Lilia.

Opening a Cuban restaurant had been a longtime dream after he and his wife Katie moved to Maine in 2017.

“I’m following in the footsteps of the many generations of past family members,” said Ashley, who by day works for the Maine Business School at the University of Maine. [I’m] eager to continue their legacy.”

Diners at Lilia’s can expect Cuban and Cuban-American classics like Cubano sandwiches, mojo marinated chicken and pork, traditional bean dishes and ropa vieja, the iconic stewed beef dish.

Ashley will offer Saturday morning breakfast as well, including breakfast sandwiches made on pressed Cuban bread and guava pastries. A full array of Cuban coffee featuring Cuban-style espresso and cafe con leche will round out the offerings.

A part-time Cajun eatery, Ca C’est Bon, opened in Veazie on Sundays, and a part-time Filipino restaurant, Kucina, debuted in February, serving food on Fridays. Later on in March,  a Nigerian restaurant will begin serving food on Thursdays.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.