Simply Peña is a family name, however in the Hispanic vocabulary Peña means a giant boulder, a solid mountain rock. When it becomes La Peña the phrase means a place where people can have different choices - food, drinks, live music, poetry and dance - all at the same time. It means a place for gatherings.
In Ecuador, people usually name it La Peña + name of certain town/place. The managers of La Peña decided to shorten it to make the phrase easy to remember by calling their restaurant simply La Peña. It worked and became very popular. Many places now use La Peña to express a place with live/folk music. Please note that we are not associated with "La Peña restaurant and bar" on North Ave.