In the year since it opened, demand has been so high at South American-inspired that owner Juan Vergara doubled the space of its Madison Avenue location.
And a second location is slated to open its doors on W. 6th Street in downtown Cleveland.
Vergara said that the expansion of the is complete, and there is now twice as much seating available to his patrons.
“The table turnaround was fast, but we got too busy,” he said. “People kept asking when we’d open another place or make our space better.”
The rear of the building is now open to customers, and in Barroco fashion, is covered with artwork that the restaurant has also become known for.
Some nights feature live salsa music.
“People feel like they’re at home,” said Vergara. “But they feel like they’re in a different place.”
The Cleveland location is set to open within the next couple weeks, Vergara said, adding that there’s a buzz about the new spot.
That location will offer quick-service dining, rather than the tableside service that the Lakewood spot provides.
“I want both Baroccos — and others in the future — to be different,” Vergara said.
A couple of things won't change: the art and the food.
Barroco's menu boasts Latin American favorites, including the restaurant’s signature item: arepas — two flat pieces of grilled, ground corn flour with meat, veggies or both squished neatly between them.
The restaurant also features arepa fries (crispy french fries made of corn), Barroco skewers and the house version of a Cuban sandwich.
There are also American favorites that include BLTs, turkey clubs and Philly cheese steaks.
But don’t ask for ketchup or mustard — Barocco doesn’t carry them.
Instead, customers are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and try one of the several homemade sauces.
“The type of food we have is different,” said Vergara. “How we make it is really different, too.”
“This is not fast food — it’s food fast,” he said.