Grand Rapids Grand Opening: Inside Barrio Tacos

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (Wood) – The first Barrio Taco Restaurant in western Michigan officially opened Thursday in Grand Rapids.

restaurant in 37 Ottawa Avenue NW North Fulton Street is celebrating its grand opening just over a year later after owner Jake Hawley signed a lease for the space and began full construction.

“It was a long time coming. There were some slight delays during the construction process, which is normal these days.” We were two weeks late. It ended up working for us because (the patio garage door) came right in at the last minute, so we have this great indoor and outdoor vibe. “.

The muralist spent two weeks turning walls into a work of art. The roofs are covered with skeletal reproductions of famous artwork, honoring Grand Rapids’ artistic culture and Day of the Dead.

(A June 16, 2022 photo shows the interior of Barrio Tacos in Grand Rapids.)

“That mural at the front door, I think, is just kind of that wow factor. It takes what Barrio does and makes us special and really includes a unique atmosphere that Grand Rapids is driven with all the art. So just a perfect marriage of what Grand Rapids is and our concept,” Hawley said. .

(This June 15, 2022 photo shows the first mural saluting visitors to Barrio Taco in Grand Rapids.)

Grand Rapids Barrio Taco It also features hand-lit metalwork on the front of the bar and hanging from the ceilings.

“The space looks really cool,” Hawley said. “Everything turned out the way we wanted it to.”

The restaurant can seat about 120 people inside and 50 other patrons outside on its landscaped patio, which includes a fire pit, string lights, and a garage door connecting the two spaces.

“Barrio” means neighborhood—something Hawley says his restaurants strive to be a part of. Grand Rapids’ newest restaurant is just steps away from the Van Andel Arena.

(A piece of stained glass behind the Barrio Tacos bar honors the surrounding Grand Rapids neighborhood.)

“There’s a lot going on downtown, especially where we’re in. I mean, that’s basically the entertainment district. So between the arena here and all the concert venues, and I hear there’s a new amphitheater coming in, we’re in the middle of all the hotels in downtown Grand. Rapids, and then all the apartment buildings on top of that, I mean, it’s just one thing after another that makes us a perfect fit for Barrio. That’s a little different than most cities where it actually feels like a neighborhood, which is where we like to be,” Hawley said.

(A photo taken on June 16, 2022 shows the menus of Barrio Tacos in Grand Rapids.)

Barrio is known for its build-up taco menu. Hawley said the restaurant uses local ingredients as much as possible. Despite rising food prices and presentation challenges, Barrio has kept its menu prices relatively at a level. Each 6-inch taco starts at $3.75 and the house margarita starts at $7.

“You can come to Barrio a few times a week, and we’ve maintained that during the tough times here, which I think really makes us appeal to the locals in downtown Grand Rapids,” Hawley said.

(Rows of tequila, whiskey, and other spirits fill the back bar at Barrio Tacos in Grand Rapids.)

Like other Barrio locations, Grand Rapids features a bar stocked with about 50 different types of bourbon, scotch, and 80 types of tequila that the staff will also use in craft cocktails and margaritas. this site It will also sell branded and sealed alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption.

Hawley said he has hired just over 50 people to work at the Grand Rapids restaurant and is looking to add about 15 additional full-time equivalent employees.

“We’re almost done,” he said.

After opening week, Barrio Tacos in Grand Rapids will be open from 3pm-1am Monday through Thursday and 11am-1am Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tables are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Hawley said he was “extremely pleased” to arrive at this grand opening.

“We put a lot of time and energy into this. Seeing it pay off today is all for her. We got a chance to share it with our friends and family last night. Everyone loved what we did and (we) are really excited to share it with people who may not have heard of us and have experience.” Barrio. To come in and see what we’re up to, grab some drinks, have some really delicious fresh tacos and try this with us, that’s the rewarding part for me and the team.”

Barrio Tacos is not finished with West Michigan. Hawley ends lease negotiations to repurpose an old bank building on Michigan Avenue in downtown Kalamazoo. If all goes well, he said, this restaurant could open by the end of this year or early next year.

Hawley plans to open Barrio Tacos late next summer at Muskegon Lake Adelaide Pointe $250 million redevelopment It is also expected to include a boat agency, Marina, Residential units and parks.

“We’ll be on the water, a really cool second floor restaurant concept with a big outdoor deck overlooking the entire marina, so we’re really excited about that,” he said.

Barrio Michigan It also operates restaurants in Traverse City and East Lansing.

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