It struck me recently that one of the real social indicators of development and progress is restaurants. Look at the dining scene in a neighborhood and it’s likely to tell you a great deal about ethnicities, styles, incomes, and economic development within. Casco Viejo, with its emerging, or in some cases re-emerging infrastructure, has seen a boom in restaurants over 2009. Some of these restaurants will make it, others will fall by the wayside. It can be interesting to note though, how characteristics in these new haunts translate to the district’s progress as a whole.
In just the last three months of 2009, Casco Viejo played host to 13 new restaurants, which vary from Mexican tapas bars to outdoor ceviche parlors. The owners of these restaurants hail from around the world including several notable entrepreneurs from Venezuela.
The dining scene in Casco Viejo, as compared to the dining scene throughout the rest of Panama City, is distinctly innovative and progressive. Beyond the fact that Casco Viejo’s ambiance is reflected in many of its restaurants old walls and outdoor terraces, the menus themselves represent a more cutting edge approach to food and dining than do others. Take for example Ciao Pescao who serves around nine types of fresh fish, laid out raw on a platter, then sauced with any number of spiced juices.
We’ll follow closely to see whether or not the majority of these establishments makes it in the end. Commercial spaces are at a premium right now as is plaza territory and real estate at a whole. The upcoming high season will be a good litmus test for these new restaurants in order to supply them with sufficient foot traffic and tourists. In addition, the weather has begun to enter a season that’s close to perfection. Leave a comment here to let us know about your Casco Viejo restaurant experience or gossip!