Barrio II in the works for St. Paul

The Pi Press reports that restaurateurs Josh Thoma and Tim McKee are negotiating to open another Barrio across from Mears Park in St. Paul into a former deli space next door to the Bulldog.

I think Barrio has a recession-proof formula, with its cheap Latin small plates and massive, tequila-heavy drink's probably one of the few concepts I wouldn't hesitate to recommend for a 2009 launch.

My only complaint about Brasa II is that it seems St. Paul has been watching a little too much Single White Female when it comes to cultivating its restaurant scene. In the past year, some of St. Paul most notable new restaurants--Salut, Pop!, the Bulldog--are copies of those in Minneapolis. With talk of a Grand Avenue outpost of Brasa in the works, St. Paul is going to start looking like Minneapolis II when it comes to restaurants. Here's to hoping St. Paul can cultivate more killer originals like it did last year with Meritage and Strip Club.