The sweet aroma of Cuban cafe and the salsa rhythms of Albita waft through the door of Babalu, a South Beach store that celebrates the culture and tradition of Cuba.
Babalu, which opened four months ago at 432 Espanola Way in Miami Beach, roughly imitates a turn-of-the-century Havana home with its iron railings and wooden rocking chairs. The railings and chairs are covered with products that bear a Cuban theme.
The term Babalu was made popular in the United States by Desi Arnaz in the late 1950s, but in Cuba "Mr. Babalu" himself, Miguelito Valdez, coined the phrase in the 1940s. Babalu is also the Afro-Cuban religious name for Saint Lazarus.