Car RiquelmeSocial Club at The Surfcomber
Born and raised in The Bronx, New York City, Martinez-Riquelme grew up five blocks from Yankee Stadium and opened a pool hall right out of high school with his mother. He also launched a bar, with a partner, by age 21. That led to working for Tito Puente — musician, songwriter, and record producer — at his NYC restaurant, after which Martinez-Riquelme progressed to other corporate restaurant-bar jobs in Times Square and Miami. An experience as a salesperson at a major Southeast food-service-distribution company taught him that he preferred the bar world best — and Martinez-Riquelme joined Kimpton Hotels & Resorts in 2011. “That is when I really started to appreciate the craft side of bartending, seeing it as the other half of the kitchen,” explains Martinez-Riquelme.