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Carmen's Lunch Bar

Maricarmen Josephs
Maricarmen Josephs, who owned a restaurant with her mother, Julie DeMarko, has a new venture. [Photo: Gary McCraken]

Maricarmen Josephs’ restaurant won’t open until this summer, but it’s already a winner. Picked from 112 applicants in a Pensacola Business Challenge as the entrepreneur most likely to succeed, she was awarded $25,000 in startup capital plus rent incentives and small-business mentoring.

Carmen’s Lunch Bar will be a downtown neighborhood eatery with a mix of Southern cuisine and flavors from countries where she has gathered recipes, including Italy, Mexico and Spain. Ten years of culinary experience have helped her prepare, she says. She and her mother, Julie DeMarko, co-owned a lunch cafe and catering company, Juliet’s World Cafe, for four years and published a cookbook; Josephs went on to manage Artesana Fine Wines and then became chef at 600 South restaurant.