Barrio Lindo Bar and Grill Is Building Bridges

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Under New Management

Barrio Lindo, a well known Puerto Vallarta restaurant is under new management, and the enthusiasm for the bridges this dedicated team is building is palpable. 

Closed for a time, it’s back, and ready to take its place as an authentic Mexican restaurant that celebrates the LGBTQ community. 

Now operated by the Monterrey based, Grupo Bugamo, the restaurant had its soft reopening on February 13th 2024. 

Barrio Lindo food dish. Photo by Daniel Sandoval
Photo by Daniel Sandoval

Guided by a passionate group from eclectic backgrounds, the modern space is making a splash with those discerning guests who wish to explore the indigenous gastronomy that Barrio Lindo so beautifully presents. 

The team, resembling a close knit family working in unison, are as follows; Director of Operations, Alberto Garrido; Executive Chef, Edgar Marcelo; Purchasing Administrator, Arturo Maya; Public Relations Liaison, Henry Vera; Sous Chef, Johana Bernabe; Bartender, Fatima Villasenor, and Waiter, Esteban Alonso. Each brings a wealth of expertise, and a regional diversity, that is impressive in its own right. 

Barrio Lindo food dish. Photo by Daniel Sandoval
Photo by Daniel Sandoval

Those guests who have previously been to Barrio Lindo may not notice any glaring changes, but if they look closely, enhancements are already well underway. 

Entering the modern space on a Saturday evening in the middle of March, I had the immediate sense of openness and infinite possibility. High white walls meet a tiled black ceiling, made of Teja, a style of Mexican tile that is designed to repel the heat from the searing sun. Silver ceiling fans suspended from the roof, also assist in keeping the large room at just the right temperature. Soft lighting is provided by abstract bulbs of varying designs which articulate themselves naturally into the room, providing just the right atmosphere as day fades into night. 

A well stocked bar provides the perfect center to the room, and ties everything together in a perfect symmetry. Dark wooden tables are placed throughout, and the front of the restaurant opens to a large balcony, which overlooks the busy street of Libertad in Centro, just below. 

The scene outside of the softly lit balcony brings to mind a classical painting of a quiet street, on any given night, in any Mexican town. A great mix of music was playing overhead, which ranged from Shakira’s “Te felicito,” to a sensual song of the Bachata genre, to Radiohead and Elvis. 

I had the privilege of visiting with the team, and exploring their vision for Barrio Lindo moving forward. Chef Marcelo explained that the menu is the same, but the style is different. 

The Chef shared “we have the understanding that we are a family, we are inviting everyone to come in and enjoy a different presentation than what they may be used to.” He continued, emphatically stating, “We are much more than chips and salsa.” 

I asked Chef Marcelo what is the vision for Barrio Lindo as it continues to grow organically, he pondered the question, then responded thoughtfully, 

“We are a community of different and unique indigenous cuisines, and we want to welcome everyone to our neighborhood, our barrio, so they can expand their understanding of Mexican home cooking with a concentration on pre Hispanic communities, such as the Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec peoples.” 

I asked the gathering, if they could recommend a couple of the most unique dishes that a newcomer to Barrio Lindo would enjoy exploring. 

Barrio Lindo food dish. Photo by Daniel Sandoval
Photo by Daniel Sandoval

Without hesitation, the whole team immediately highlighted two choices that are certain to delight. The Grilled Octopus incorporates spices that are included in a marinated sauce, and then the octopus is quickly placed on a grill, and prepared in such a way that encapsulates that rustic, smoky, backyard cookout feel. 

Barrio Lindo food dish. Photo by Daniel Sandoval
Photo by Daniel Sandoval

As Chef Marcelo so eloquently stated, “it takes you back home.”  

Another impressive option that the group was excited to highlight is the dish known as the Trilogy of Barrio. Chef Marcelo described it as “somewhat like a Ceviche, but not a Ceviche.” 

He continued, “It is cooked in chili water, and presented as a cold dish, it’s great to enjoy with friends, as an appetizer, a great conversation dish.” Smiling broadly, he concluded, “It builds the palate for other surprises that are as yet, unexplored.”     

As our time was drawing to a close, I mentioned the amazingly eclectic feel that Barrio Lindo provides, and I then asked Chef Marcelo how would he describe the vibe at this incredible space that he has come to love? 

Barrio Lindo Bar and Restaurant is under new ownership and management. Photo by Oscar Almeida.

“I would call it loungy, in a classy, yet laid back way,” reflecting for a moment, he continued, “you are in your living room, we are a comfortable place that wants to share this experience with everyone, we are building bridges,” Chef Marcelo said,  “come on across soon.”       

Libertad 319 A, Centro, 48300

Hours of Operation. 1:00pm to 9:00pm Wednesday through Monday.  Closed Tuesday 

+52 322 327 6243

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