Thursday morning, a cafe with Old World roots debuted on Capitol Hill with the opening of Bellevue Ave’s Chico Madrid. Friday morning, it was the New World’s turn. Cintli introduced its Latin American flavors to the Hill with its first day of business on Broadway.
CHS first told you about designer Beto Yarce art and cafe project late last year. Taking over the space left empty by the closure of the Bleu Bistro, Yarce and Rafael Sanchez have brought new colors to this stretch of Broadway neighboring American Apparel with the combination gallery and cafe.
The Cintli name has to do with gods and… corn:
Corn was the single most important crop in all of Mesoamerica, and was found in almost every place in the American continent, making these societies known as the CULTURES OF MAIZE.
Among many other traditions practiced by the maize cultures, there is one that Mexicans still celebrate. When the corn plants begin to sprout, young women dance bare-breasted through the fields while picking and wrapping up ears of corn as if they were infants. Then they save the ears of corn, allowing the maize spirits to rest until the harvest.
This tradition has its roots in Aztec mythology. The story tells us that Quetzalcoatl [kayt sahl KO’tl], the god of duality, brought maize to this world as a gift to humans after he stole a kernel from ants.
The god Cintleotl [seEn tE O’tl] and the goddess Xilonen [shelO NEN] represent the duality of corn. For the Aztecs, Cintleotl was the god of the harvested maize. His name came from Cintli [seEn tlee] that means dried maize and teotl [tE O’tl] that means deity in the Nahuatl language. Xilonen, instead, was known for turning the kernels into thriving plants becoming the goddess of the unripe maize.
The Latin American gallery and food+drink spot includes a menu ranging from Chile to Mexico with tamales, pupusas, arepas and empanadas in between. Rich drinking chocolates round things out along with a full offering of espressos and coffee plus beer and wine. Hours will run 7 AM to 8 PM daily.
Cintli is located at 202 Broadway E. You can learn more at cintli.com.