La Villa opening shows off studios, cafe

Central American food lovers mill outside Cafe Aroma Latino on Tuesday.

Central American food lovers mill outside Cafe Aroma Latino on Tuesday.

A spillover crowd chatted and ate tamales at a party for the new “La Villa on Agricola” development on North and Agricola streets on Tuesday. The grand opening marks another leap forward for the intersection.
Kids played tag among the guests who flowed out on the sidewalk in front of the building. La Villa contains art studios, a restaurant and apartments. It even has a meeting room with all sorts of AV gizmos that can be booked by non-tenants.
Hard to pigeonhole this event. It was partly an art show as painters, photographers and other artists showed off their ground floor studios.
It was also a restaurant opening and food store launch. Claudia Pinto, owner of the brightly coloured Cafe Aroma Latino, kept a tasty buffet of Guatemalan and Mexican food topped up and steaming.
Finally, it was an open house. A volunteer gave visitors a tour of the upstairs. The guide showed off views from what will be a rooftop terrace. Also featured was the last of 24 units in the complex which remains to be rented, a surprisingly quiet apartment looking down North Street toward the bridge.

Guests mingle among the art studios and galleries.

Guests mingle among the art studios and galleries.

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