WESTPORT, Conn. – Bartaco , a beach-themed taqueria, will soon bring tacos, cocktails and a Southern California vibe to the west bank of Westport’s Saugatuck River.
The approximately 3,000-square-foot restaurant — owned by Barteca, the same restaurant group behind the popular Barcelona chain — is slated to open its doors in the coming weeks at 20 Wilton Road, between Moja Cafe and Save the Children.
“We hope to have a soft opening within the next two weeks,” said Scott Lawton, one of Barteca’s partners.
Sasa Mahr-Batuz, one of the co-founders of the Barteca group, grew up in Westport and is a Staples High School graduate, Lawton said.
Bartaco will occupy the first floor of the building and features large glass doors and windows overlooking the river. The restaurant will also have an outdoor patio with seating for about 40, Lawton said.
Inside, there will be seating for about 100, Lawton said. The casual-yet-sophisticated interior, decorated with beach-related photography, is reminiscent of a beachside eatery in Mexico or Southern California.
When it comes to the menu, Lawton said customers will find “bold flavors, small plates and healthy food with a Mexican twist.” The menu features a variety of tacos, both traditional and unique. For example, taco choices range from chicken, baja fish and chorizo, to wild boar, lobster and curry shrimp.
Outside of tacos, the restaurant offers small plates, rotisserie chicken, rice bowls and dessert. About 95 percent of the menu is gluten free, Lawton added.
“Unlike traditional Mexican food, our food is not fried or saturated in butter — it’s fresh and light,” said manager Phillip Vitti. “You won’t leave here bloated or bogged down.”
At the bar, all cocktails will be made fresh to order, Lawton said. This means all fruits used will be juiced at the time of order, not in the morning, he said. In addition to cocktails, bartaco will offer wines, beers and a large variety of tequila.
Bartaco will be open seven days a week, likely starting with dinner only, Lawton said. The Westport location will be the third to open in the state and the fourth overall. Other restaurants are located in Stamford, West Hartford and Port Chester, N.Y.
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