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Authentic Mexican coming to Northside

You may have tried tongue tacos from Taco Azul, one of Cincinnati’s food trucks. And in a few weeks, its owners, Gary and Tracy Sims, will be opening Barrio Tequileria at the corner of Hamilton and Spring Grove Avenue in Northside.
 
The Sims chose Northside because it reminds Gary of urban Los Angeles. He's a Cincinnati native, but lived in L.A. for 20 years before moving back to his hometown. He says he’s always wanted to open a bar, and he thinks he's found the perfect space with a great patio.
 
Barrio will serve authentic Mexican food that has its roots in the barrios of L.A. and the streets of Mexico. The restaurant’s menu will be different from the food truck, says Gary, but they will be serving the tacos that many Cincinnatians have come to love—specifically the tongue, carne asada, chicken, veggie and chorizo tacos.
 
The menu will also feature Baja style beer battered fish tacos, seviche, al pastor on rotisserie, queso fundido cheese dip with chorizo and guacamole. There will also be rotating specials that reflect foods from the different regions of Mexico like moles and enchiladas.
 
But the main draw of Barrio is its drinks, which will be made with handmade fusion tequilas, says Gary. One of the key elements to the restaurant’s drink menu is the Sangrita: tomato juice served with a shot of tequila—it’s a spin on the traditional Bloody Mary.
 
And of course, there will be margaritas. Handmade, not blended, and made with fresh juices. A cucumber margarita is in the works, as well as a jalapeno or habanero one for those that like their drinks a bit spicier.
 
“We want to help make Northside a destination spot in Cincinnati like the Vine Street corridor is downtown,” says Gary. “In the next few months, a bourbon bar will be joining us on the corner, and we want to help revitalize the area.”
 
Barrio Tequileria is slated to open in the beginning of April. The restaurant will host its patio grand opening on May 4 and 5 for Cinco de Mayo.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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