02.27.22

Belmont Shore isn't getting a new Cuban restaurant—that's just a Netflix set

With such specific detailing and even a neon sign, locals were hopeful the space that formerly carried Club Ripples on its shoulders for decades was going to become a new Cuban restaurant.


by Brian Addison

It seemed like the perfect fit: A beachfront business space in Belmont Shore—one of the few in the city where guests could easily traipse over to the coastline beach path—where, after its tenant of long Club Ripples, had left years ago.

The two-decker building with a massive backside patio gives off vibes of relaxation and would easily pull off a Cuban restaurant—which is precisely what locals thought they were getting where an "El Floridita" sign appeared on both sides of the building's front-facing facades on Ocean and Granada. A newly minted neon sign hung above the front door's brightly repainted yellow entry. Hand-painted window lettering, echoing a detail of the past, advertised everything from ropa vieja and buñuelos to picadillo and masitas.

Alas, in an all too L.A.-centric twist, it is a facade.

Literally.
The "El Floridita" set on Netflix's upcoming "Griselda" Series. Photo by Brian Addison.

The "El Floridita" is a set piece for Netflix's upcoming series "Griselda," starring Sofia Vegara as the ruthless Cocaine Godmother of Colombia, Griselda Blanco.

Filming has been non-stop since Feb. 22, when trailers, portable bathrooms, an array of classic cars given the story's 1970s and '80s timeline, and plenty of power generators took over the beach lot directly across from the Floridita set.

According to Netflix executives, "Griselda" will be ready to release at the earliest in late 2022 and more likely early 2023.