Que Chevere

Puerto Rican Cuisine

Translating to “how fantastic,” Que Chevere is a concept developed by Michael Petrovitch as an homage to his Puerto Rican heritage and family. Inspired by Michael’s father-in-law and Lillian’s grandfather, Manuel Chevere, the restaurant represents his infectious spirit for cooking, and his ability to use food as a vehicle to bring people together. Their first location will be opening in The Market Line and a portion of profits will be donated to Autism Speaks.

Get to Know: Que Chevere

Michael Petrovitch & Lillian Quinones

Owner & Head Chef

What motivated you and your daughter to start a small business?

Family is everything to me. One day Lillian and I were sitting together and thinking about the future of our family members, specifically those that are autistic. I had always wanted to open a unique restaurant - one that truly represents my family and my heritage - and thus, Que Chevere was born. Now I'm working to make my dreams come true but also so that I can share some of the profits from Que Chevere with Autism Speaks and positively impact the lives of other families that have autistic family members.

Favorite dish (or two!) that you’ll be offering at The Market Line?

Everything about Que Chevere has ties to our Puerto Rican culture and heritage. During the holiday season all I eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas is Pernil con Arroz y Gandules (Roast Pork with Rice & Pigeon Peas). My second favorite would be Acapurrias (Fried Fritters) which are green or sweet plantains grounded down, stuffed with meat and then deep fried. It’s heaven, simply heaven.

What inspired you to open this business with your daughter, Lillian?

Lillian knows how to throw down; when she comes to my house, mom steps aside in the kitchen!

What excites you most about this new project?

I was born and raised in the Lower East Side, left to serve in the US Marines for 6 years in the 1980s and came back and continued life on the Lower East Side. Que Chevere will be in the same footprint that my Dad used to take me to when it was the old Essex Street Fish Market. It gives me chills just thinking about how a place so near and dear to my heart will now house our food for people to consume.

How do you think your background in the music industry will inform your new business?

In addition to knowing about crazy parties and having great connections, working in the music industry has taught me how to drive business. I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside smart people, specifically the leadership of my company, in which I’ve been able to absorb their aura over the last 10 years and use that to advise, develop and launch Que Chevere

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of...

Kozy Corner! As a teenager, that was the only spot open after coming home from a club (Paradise Garage, 1018, Palladium, Fun House). They make the best deli sandwiches to this day and to this day at an old school price.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Believe it or not, it’s not Puerto Rican cuisine, it’s a Ham and Cheese Sandwich. I love them so much so that in the early 70’s while living at 172 Delancey Street, my mom brought home a Prince Bakery Italian Bread (those that are OG from LES will remember it). I thought it was for me only, so I sliced the entire length of the bread, filled it with Ham & Cheese, and ate the whole thing! My mom came out and said, “where’s the Italian Bread?” I said, “I thought it was for me, so I ate it all!”

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

That’s easy, Sofrito. It’s the base ingredient in all Puerto Rican foods. Lillian makes one that is out of this world.

What motivated you and your daughter to start a small business?

Family is everything to me. One day Lillian and I were sitting together and thinking about the future of our family members, specifically those that are autistic. I had always wanted to open a unique restaurant - one that truly represents my family and my heritage - and thus, Que Chevere was born. Now I'm working to make my dreams come true but also so that I can share some of the profits from Que Chevere with Autism Speaks and positively impact the lives of other families that have autistic family members.

Favorite dish (or two!) that you’ll be offering at The Market Line?

Everything about Que Chevere has ties to our Puerto Rican culture and heritage. During the holiday season all I eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas is Pernil con Arroz y Gandules (Roast Pork with Rice & Pigeon Peas). My second favorite would be Acapurrias (Fried Fritters) which are green or sweet plantains grounded down, stuffed with meat and then deep fried. It’s heaven, simply heaven.

What inspired you to open this business with your daughter, Lillian?

Lillian knows how to throw down; when she comes to my house, mom steps aside in the kitchen!

What excites you most about this new project?

I was born and raised in the Lower East Side, left to serve in the US Marines for 6 years in the 1980s and came back and continued life on the Lower East Side. Que Chevere will be in the same footprint that my Dad used to take me to when it was the old Essex Street Fish Market. It gives me chills just thinking about how a place so near and dear to my heart will now house our food for people to consume.

How do you think your background in the music industry will inform your new business?

In addition to knowing about crazy parties and having great connections, working in the music industry has taught me how to drive business. I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside smart people, specifically the leadership of my company, in which I’ve been able to absorb their aura over the last 10 years and use that to advise, develop and launch Que Chevere

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of...

Kozy Corner! As a teenager, that was the only spot open after coming home from a club (Paradise Garage, 1018, Palladium, Fun House). They make the best deli sandwiches to this day and to this day at an old school price.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Believe it or not, it’s not Puerto Rican cuisine, it’s a Ham and Cheese Sandwich. I love them so much so that in the early 70’s while living at 172 Delancey Street, my mom brought home a Prince Bakery Italian Bread (those that are OG from LES will remember it). I thought it was for me only, so I sliced the entire length of the bread, filled it with Ham & Cheese, and ate the whole thing! My mom came out and said, “where’s the Italian Bread?” I said, “I thought it was for me, so I ate it all!”

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

That’s easy, Sofrito. It’s the base ingredient in all Puerto Rican foods. Lillian makes one that is out of this world.

What motivated you and your daughter to start a small business?

Family is everything to me. One day Lillian and I were sitting together and thinking about the future of our family members, specifically those that are autistic. I had always wanted to open a unique restaurant - one that truly represents my family and my heritage - and thus, Que Chevere was born. Now I'm working to make my dreams come true but also so that I can share some of the profits from Que Chevere with Autism Speaks and positively impact the lives of other families that have autistic family members.

Favorite dish (or two!) that you’ll be offering at The Market Line?

Everything about Que Chevere has ties to our Puerto Rican culture and heritage. During the holiday season all I eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas is Pernil con Arroz y Gandules (Roast Pork with Rice & Pigeon Peas). My second favorite would be Acapurrias (Fried Fritters) which are green or sweet plantains grounded down, stuffed with meat and then deep fried. It’s heaven, simply heaven.

What inspired you to open this business with your daughter, Lillian?

Lillian knows how to throw down; when she comes to my house, mom steps aside in the kitchen!

What excites you most about this new project?

I was born and raised in the Lower East Side, left to serve in the US Marines for 6 years in the 1980s and came back and continued life on the Lower East Side. Que Chevere will be in the same footprint that my Dad used to take me to when it was the old Essex Street Fish Market. It gives me chills just thinking about how a place so near and dear to my heart will now house our food for people to consume.

How do you think your background in the music industry will inform your new business?

In addition to knowing about crazy parties and having great connections, working in the music industry has taught me how to drive business. I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside smart people, specifically the leadership of my company, in which I’ve been able to absorb their aura over the last 10 years and use that to advise, develop and launch Que Chevere

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of...

Kozy Corner! As a teenager, that was the only spot open after coming home from a club (Paradise Garage, 1018, Palladium, Fun House). They make the best deli sandwiches to this day and to this day at an old school price.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Believe it or not, it’s not Puerto Rican cuisine, it’s a Ham and Cheese Sandwich. I love them so much so that in the early 70’s while living at 172 Delancey Street, my mom brought home a Prince Bakery Italian Bread (those that are OG from LES will remember it). I thought it was for me only, so I sliced the entire length of the bread, filled it with Ham & Cheese, and ate the whole thing! My mom came out and said, “where’s the Italian Bread?” I said, “I thought it was for me, so I ate it all!”

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

That’s easy, Sofrito. It’s the base ingredient in all Puerto Rican foods. Lillian makes one that is out of this world.