Boquetes carousel of restaurants

Back on Dec 9 2012 I wrote a short piece about five new restaurants that opened in Boquete.  Three out of five are gone within four months, Los Faroles, Fuzion Grill and El Sazon de la Abuela, pictured below.


The other two Porotos and Cafe and Cacao are still open and hope they have better luck than those who closed.  I have still not eaten at Porotos but I have enjoyed excellent coffee at Cafe and Cacao.

The Bistro closed and has reopened with a new chef, again, and at least three more restaurants have opened recently, One Eyed Franks, a German restaurant in San Francisco Plaza and Georges Grill in Palo Alto. I wish all of them success. I have only tried Frank’s and really enjoy eating there, hopefully I will get to the others.

I do have point in this post, the point is that many people move to Boquete and try to fulfill their dreams by turning a hobby into a business, many try restaurants, most fail. I believe the two that failed were owned by local residents. I have seen so many people come, try and fail that I feel obliged to express a word of caution to people who come here and assume they can create a dream and succeed. The restaurant business is very difficult and just because you can cook does not mean you can run a business, equally just because you can run a business does not mean you can run a successful restaurant.

If you are coming here with plans to turn a culinary hobby into a business please do your homework before leaping on the carousel.


  1. Pat & Susan says:

    Los Faroles has a new owner and will open soon – maybe this week – we stopped by briefly the other day and were told it will be a sandwich place – owned by Panamanians – we suggested they post their opening on NING and use other means to get the word out

  2. Contributing to the failure of businesses in Boquete is the fact that no advertising or announcements are made. Information made available via radio reaches some Spanish speaking clients, but not most of the expat population. If the business has a ‘gringo’ name, ‘gringo’ prices and ‘gringo’ products, and nothing is done to reach the ‘gringos’ … the business will not last. My impression of Boquete and David businesses is that the owners have even considered the strange concept of “advertising”.

  3. John Cole says:

    Heard Fusion was a friendof the short pour and that the food was not very good and prices above average. Just sayin……………………….. If you come here with limited capital and the desire to make money first and consider service and quality second, you will be discovered and rumors will fly. Again, just sayin……………….

  4. Actually, the German restaurant in Plaza San Francisco has been there for some time. And, before that, it was located upstairs next door to Bistro Boquete. I really like it–particularly the wiener schnitzel.

  5. Bjorn Sefeldt says:

    Restaurants have a 90% failure ratre even in the US, IIRC…its one of the hadest business to start up…I have a friend who started 3 restaurants successfully in Houston ,he sold two, but when he started no 4 , it failed and pulled the other one with it down……and just as with other things , people always want to try the new…if its good they continue coming ,if not better than others they stop….

  6. How does one exactly advertise to ‘gringos’ in Boquete?

  7. I really pray for those which are still open,and hope they dont face the same problem unlike the once that are closed.

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