Richie Cardona: General Manager of Cantina Rooftop

27-year old Richie Cardona was raised in Long Island by his beloved, Salvadorian parents. Cardona’s start in the hospitality industry can be traced back to his childhood, influenced by his Celebrity Chef, father.  Following in his father's footsteps, Cardona began his flourishing career in the restaurant industry at an early age.  The restaurant that got his foot in the door was Calle Ocho. From there, Cardona went on to earn a degree in Accounting.  After gaining operations experience from his post-grad work at an accounting firm, Richie Cardona decided to get back to his roots. He made the decision to pursue a hospitality degree. At the young age of 21, Cardona was already working as the General Manager at Hudson River Café in Harlem.  Cardona also played a major role in his father’s renowned catering business: Cardona Catering. The family business boomed with Richie's help and gained celebrity clients including Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Preston Bailey, the New York Yankees and the New York Knicks.  Soon after, Richie and a close friend opened a high-profile event group called Lifestyle Event Group.  This success in the event production world made complete sense if one is acquainted it to Richie’s personality.  Ever since High School, Richie Cardona was the man with the plan. He was typically the leader of the pack amongst his group of friends because he harvested the knowledge of neighborhood hot spots and providing a wow experience.

After dabbling in the event planning industry, Richie went on to become the General Manager at Sazon in Tribeca. He raised gross sales at the restaurant exponentially in just a year's time.  At the same time, he also aided in the opening of Sombrero. It’s hard to believe that someone of 27 years of age already accomplished so much, but the list doesn’t stop there. Now, as the General Manager of new hot-spot, Cantina Rooftop, Cardona is striving to take the restaurant and lounge to a whole new level of prosperity. Richie’s plans for the new rooftop include an innovative new brunch experience, delivery service, year-round rooftop dining in addition to mixology and guacamole making classes. Some advice from Cardona: “Never to give up. Always follow your gut. And know that you get to live another day.”  For Richie Cardona, the sky's the limit.

What’s Your NativeAdVantage:

What do you do best?

Restaurant Management.  I grew up being immersed in the hospitality industry since my father is a noted chef and I learned the ropes from him and now know how to manage and operate a successful restaurant.

What makes you the best?

Personality, no matter how crazy I maybe I always smile :)

What are your aspirations?

Exceeding every guests expectations and creating that WOW experience.



"You will never influence the world by trying to be like it"


Stephen Starr, Preston Bailey, Chef Ricardo Cardona (Father), FAMILY  


"Thailand and El Salvador"


Mrs Meyers Products, Votivo Candles, Tod's Shoes, and my favorite type of wine, Pinot Noir


Traveling, tasting and experiencing new concepts and cuisines.