Tastemakers

Uribe has been addressing issues of identity since he was child. “My father’s friends would call me ‘pocho’ [a derisive term for an assimilated Mexican immigrant] because I wore Dickies and Dodger caps and used a hybrid of Spanish and English that I picked up in the streets of East L.A.” It wasn’t until he turned 33, listening to the radio show Pocho Hour of Power with Lalo Alcaraz, that he came to a realization: “I should be proud of my new culture, as it was a result of my ancestors migrating to the U.S. to improve their lives.”

Uribe conceived his club, Eastside Luv Wine Bar y Queso, as a space for Mexican-Americans to celebrate their culture, past and present. Built in the heart of Boyle Heights, where Uribe was born and raised, Eastside Luv deliberately erases stereotypes of seedy East L.A. nightlife with a wide variety of boutique Californian and South American vintners, hipster chic wallpaper made from old Mexican movie posters and low-rider-inspired “chain-deliers.”

With the extension of the Metro Gold Line to Mariachi Plaza due for imminent completion, Uribe, who has a 20-year lease, is a step ahead of Hollywood developers. “Last week some guys came in here, we sat down, they enjoyed the sangria and they wanted to buy me out,” he says. “They were gonna put up a Barnes & Noble—they sure do their market research. I saw that a Starbucks just opened down the block, but I’m not going anywhere.”

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