CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) – A cryptocurrency-themed restaurant that also accepts crypto as payment is now open in Clearwater Beach.
“Crypto Street Restaurant” opened in December and is located at 309 Coronado Drive.
Owner Ricardo Varona previously owned a restaurant and said he wanted to change things up and do something that was more of an independent idea.
Cryptocurrency was that idea, even if he did have to learn a little first.
“It was something that my oldest son introduced me to and I was on the other side. I was totally like, ‘you’re going to lose your money, why are you doing [that], that’s worth nothing,” Varona said.
Over the course of a few years and a class, Varona said he did a “360.”
“I decided ‘let me do something that has to do crypto and people my age don’t know about it can understand it,’” Varona explained.
Crypto Street Restaurant serves up a variety of delicacies, all named, or soon to be named, after cryptocurrencies and the like.
The menu includes handheld dishes like the “Crypto Cuban,” “DogeDog” and the “Network” grilled cheese. They also offer salads, homemade chili, charcuterie, and more. Ice cream specialties are served up for dessert.
“There’s a lot of seafood in Clearwater so we have some, and we’re going to introduce some more. But we started more with American classics with a Hispanic flair in it,” Varona said.
While guests can still pay in a traditional manner, diners who use cryptocurrency are becoming more common in restaurants.
“It’s growing. So at the beginning, we had a little while, then we had one here, there. Now it’s like we get [some] every week,” Varona said. “Mostly Bitcoin, but we’ve also got Dogecoin, we’ve got Shiba Inu, so like you’re meme coins and stuff like that.”
He has printouts of barcodes of his crypto receiver accounts to make things fast and easy for customers.
Varona said he’s getting a lot of help from the crypto community, from analysts who visit and others. He’s able to pass on that information to customers and even help people open accounts with the most popular cryptocurrency services. He recommends places where he’s had good experiences and will talk about any hidden fees he’s run into.
He said Crypto Street Restaurant is mostly for people that are new to it and want to learn, but also for those very much into crypto who enjoy the location because there aren’t many places like it.
Crypto Street Restaurant is open Wednesdays through Sundays beginning at 11 a.m. Varona said his goal is to be open seven days a week by the end of February.