WESTPORT, Conn. — Tacos and tequila have arrived on the west bank of Westport’s Saugatuck River. Bartaco , the popular beach-themed taqueria, opened its doors at 20 Wilton Road on Monday night.
Owned by Barteca , the same restaurant group responsible for the Barcelona chain, bartaco will open every day this week at 4 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. The restaurant will begin serving lunch next Monday at 11:30 a.m.
The more than 3,000-square-foot space overlooks the river and features large glass doors and plenty of windows. The restaurant boasts a full-service bar, seating for about 100 and an outdoor patio that can accommodate 40.
Inside, the blue and white clapboard walls are decorated with beach and vintage Westport photography. Barteca Creative Director and co-owner Sasa Mahr-Batuz grew up in Westport and is a Staples High School graduate.
“What makes this location special is the Westport connection,” Mahr-Batuz said. “We wanted to pay homage to Westport by incorporating Westport photos, so we issued a call to action for vintage photography from the community.”
And the community responded. Dozens of photographs were submitted, and Mahr-Batuz picked the ones that best represent the bartaco brand. Donated photos include vintage scenes of Longshore Sailing School, Compo Beach, the Westport Country Playhouse and residents.
There is also a collage of photos Mahr-Batuz selected from the 1982 Staples High School yearbook.
“We’re very thankful for the community’s help,” he said.
When it comes to food, bartaco offers a variety of traditional and unique tacos, such as baja fish, pork belly, chicken, fried oyster, wild boar and curry shrimp. Tacos can be ordered individually, in threes or by the tray full.
Outside of tacos, bartaco serves rice bowls, rotisserie chicken, small plates — like tamales, gorditas, gazpacho, ceviche — and dessert.
The restaurant also offers an extensive drink menu, which includes sodas imported from Mexico, beer, wine, specialty cocktails and a wide selection of tequila. At the bar, customers will notice bowls of fruit and juice presses. This is because all fruit juice used in the cocktails are freshly juiced at the time of order.
Bartaco's arrival in Westport marks the continued revitalization of the west bank. It is the second restaurant to open in the National Hall complex, joining Moja Cafe , a South American/Asian fusion restaurant that opened in December at 12 Wilton Road.
Prior to the restaurant's opening, 20 Wilton Road sat vacant since 2010 when Peter Coppola salon and spa, now Vincent Palumbo Salon, relocated to 616 Post Road E.
The Westport restaurant is third bartaco to open in the state and fourth overall. The other restaurants are located in Stamford, West Hartford and Port Chester, N.Y.
For more about bartaco, read this story published by The Westport Daily Voice on June 6.
To reach the restaurant, call 203-222-8226. Instead of reservations, bartaco uses a wait list system. This means a customer can call ahead 30 minutes before arriving and have their name added to a list.
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