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Barrio Tequila Bar & Cafe

Forget all the awful tequila stories you've heard (or told)--the ones that ended hunched over the toilet, waking up in a stranger's bed, or spending the night in jail--because Barrio is out to class up the much-maligned spirit. Tim McKee and Josh Thoma, of La Belle Vie fame, partnered with local real estate developers Tim Rooney and Ryan Burnet (Burnet worked with his father, Ralph, on the illustrious Chambers and W hotels) to create a tequila bar that treats the spring-break party drink with a reverence typically reserved for wine. The dark, cozy space is decorated in a Latin Goth, with an eerie, Day of the Dead-like festivity--you'd hardly recognize it as a former Dunn Bros. coffee shop. Despite Barrio's emphasis on its 100-plus-bottle tequila list, the food is what's really fantastic. Executive chef Bill Fairbanks (a longtime La Belle Vie sous chef) serves refined versions of street foods from Mexico and Central and South America: Tecate-battered fried mahi-mahi tacos, red chile enchilada with fried egg and chorizo, and barbecued pork sopes. He also serves some fancier fare, dishes like tequila-cured salmon, ahi tuna with quinoa, and diver scallop ceviche. Just make sure to save room for the churros.

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