The Cleveland-based taco joint, which entered the Columbus market just six months ago, has announced its second local unit will be in the 15th and High development, a high-profile, high-visibility site for which the growing brand has high hopes.
“This is Broadway and Park Place,” said Columbus partner Jason Beudert. “The 15th and High development is a once in a generation opportunity. It’s a special location.”
Barrio plans to open a 4,000-square-foot restaurant, complete with 20-foot ceilings that will allow for a mezzanine. It also will feature an additional 1,100 square feet of patio space facing the student courtyard planned in the project.
Amanda Hoffsis, president of developer Campus Partners, said Barrio is a compelling brand.
“They’ve got legions of fans and lots of distinct energy that will drive lot of students, faculty and neighborhood (residents),” she said. “The energy they’ll bring to the project will be a whole lot of fun. We can’t wait for them to open.”
The target opening is summer, well before the fall semester, though the university community will be able to get a taste before then – Barrio’s food truck will launch in March in and around campus.
The restaurant will be open for lunch, happy hour, dinner and late-night business, plus brunch on the weekend.
Beudert said the two sides have been talking about that location for a while.
“We always knew we want to be on campus,” he said.
Such locations aren’t new to Barrio. It has units at Kent State University, Michigan State University and Case Western University.
“OSU student and faculty deserve to have a cool and affordable full-service concept like Barrio in their campus district,” he said. “They don’t have to take an Uber to Short North, Grandview Heights, or Dublin to enjoy a night out or a spot to grab dinner or lunch.”
Barrio opened at 1416 W. 5th Ave. near Grandview Heights this past fall. Business has been strong at that location.
“The welcoming we have received here in Columbus and in particular the residents of Grandview Heights have been amazing, especially in the past six months with all that Ohio has gone through,” Beudert said. “No matter how cool or perfectly located your space is, you better deliver delicious food and amazing service. We’ve been doing that.”
With one Barrio open and a second in the works, attention eventually will turn to more. Growth in Columbus remains a goal.
“It’s a balance. You don’t want to oversaturate the market,” Beudert said. “But if the right opportunity comes up, we’ll jump on it.”
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