When Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani and DineAmic Hospitality Group opened Bar Siena two years ago in the West Loop, it enjoyed success opening a companion spot — BomboBar — which serves coffee, gelato, and Italian doughnuts through a pick-up window. Over at Barrio in River North, they’re trying emulate the same success with Mexican food and another Top Chef alum, Katsuji Tanabe. That’s why on Wednesday morning they opened La Bodega del Barrio, a space selling specialty churros (flavors like Fruity Pebbles, Nutella, and red velvet), coffees, and tacos.
Bodega is part convenience store and part restaurant. There’s a walk-up counter inside with breakfast tacos until 11 a.m., and customers can see the churros through the display case. DineAmic knows how to make a decadent dessert, as shown by their lavish boozy milkshakes down the street from Bodega/Barrio at Public House. It serves Limitless coffees and teas, and patrons can add ice cream to their churros without their dentist’s permission.
Seems while developing Barrio, they had leftover space that didn’t quite fit the design. DineAmic brainstormed and figured if BomboBar worked in West Loop, Bodega could work in River North. It’s curious timing for an opening, especially in lieu of the controversy over the unrelated Bodega vending machines/app. In June, before Barrio opened, DineAmic’s Lucas Stoioff said he did R&D for Bodega by talking to workers at nearby 7-Elevens. He wanted to stock items that were popular at downtown convenience stores, but offer elevated versions.
Check out the photos and menu below. Will La Bodega del Barrio fill a River North void? Find out today, as Barrio’s sidekick is now open.
La Bodega del Barrio, 65 W. Kinzie St. (entrance on Clark Street), open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.