Closed for Business

Now Closed: Barrio Café Gran Reserva Shuttered Over the Weekend

Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva's interior.
Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva's interior. Jacob Tyler Dunn
click to enlarge Barrio Café Gran Reserva has closed — for good. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Barrio Café Gran Reserva has closed — for good.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza has kept busy during the COVID-19 shutdown. Her own Barrio Café has been operating as a community kitchen for weeks, involving other Phoenix-area chefs and giving away food every day at 5 p.m. However, as of Saturday, April 18, Esparza’s second restaurant, the art-filled, vegan-focused, Mexican-wine serving mole palace Barrio Café Gran Reserva, was closed — for good.

click to enlarge Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva's interior. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva's interior.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
“With a broken heart I am sorry to inform you that due to zero funding and coronavirus, we are closing,” Esparza says via social media, along with a moving video tour of the compact Grand Avenue eatery. “In order to save the Barrio Cafe, we have to shut down Gran Reserva,” she states in another post.

This is less than two months after Esparza was nominated for Best Chef, Southwest by the James Beard Foundation (again) for Barrio Café Gran Reserva. It was one of the most anticipated Valley restaurant openings in 2016.

That year, the eatery won a Best of Phoenix award for Best New Mexican Restaurant, and has won Best Upscale Mexican Restaurant in 2017, 2018, and 2019.


Barrio Café remains open.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano