Mike Petrovich leads a dual life: he works for a global music company and owns Puerto Rican restaurant Que Chevere downstairs in the Essex Market's Market Line: "Right now, I'm dealing with two jobs, seven grandkids, and six kids."
His original concept was a retail store that sold high-end sandals in front with a lush, tropical restaurant behind it.
"During the holidays, from November to December, in the Lower East Side, in the housing projects, we would go to a house, and on the menu was pernil and arroz con gandules," he remembers.
In August 2018, one of Mike's kids suggested he open up a restaurant. "Sure, that's crazy," he replied. "Restaurants are the number one thing that fail."
WHY DON'T YOU NAME IT AFTER MY DAD?
That night, when he went to bed, Mike's wife asked him what he would call the restaurant. "I have no clue," he said.
"Why don't you name it after my dad?"
"Your dad? Manuel Chevere? Nobody is going to go to a restaurant named Manuel Chevere... You know something? They may go to a restaurant called Que Chevere.
"I had a Jackson Pollock moment. Went to GoDaddy. Bought the website. Bought the name. Trademarked everything."