Phoenix restaurant Barrio Café closing after more than 20 years in business

By Ignacio Ventura
Published: Sunday, March 24, 2024 - 12:15pm
Updated: Monday, March 25, 2024 - 8:56am

A mural at Barrio Café.
Amy Silverman
A mural at Barrio Café in Phoenix in 2014.

The popular Phoenix restaurant Barrio Café announced last week it would be closing down in May.

Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza said she would be retiring after more than two decades in business. She confirmed the closure on the cafe's Instagram account.

"Without me, there is no Barrio," said the James Beard Award-nominated chef in the video. "So Barrio has to close."

Charleen Badman (left), Silvana Salcido Esparza (center) and Kevin Binkley
Jackie Hai/KJZZ
Arizona chefs Charleen Badman (left), Silvana Salcido Esparza (center) and Kevin Binkley in KJZZ's studio in 2017.

Barrio Café first opened its doors near 16th Street and Thomas Road in 2002 and became a staple in the community.

Salcido Esparza also owned a restaurant called Barrio Urbano on Seventh Street just south of Bethany Home Road, which closed in 2017.

In 2020, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris made a campaign stop at the location.

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