PHOENIX — In late April, Barrio Queen is expected to open the doors to its latest restaurant in Avondale, marking its second restaurant in the West Valley and its seventh restaurant in the Phoenix metro.
An opening date has not been announced yet, but the restaurant is currently hiring servers, bartenders, cooks, kitchen staff, and dishwashers. Those interested can apply, here.
It also marks the latest chapter in Barrio Queen's expansion since its first restaurant opened in 2011.
In January, the locally-owned Mexican restaurant chain expanded to Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale, its first restaurant in the West Valley. Last year, Barrio Queen opened restaurants at Tempe Marketplace and Queen Creek Marketplace.
Other locations are in Gilbert, north Phoenix at Desert Ridge Marketplace, and Scottsdale.
And now there are potential plans to open three more restaurants in Ahwatukee, Tucson, and Flagstaff, the latter two would be the brand's first locations outside of the Phoenix metro, according to Ryan Katz, Barrio Queen's director of marketing, and Executive Chef Julio Mata.
Where exactly these locations will be located and when they could potentially open haven't been announced yet. Katz said those details were still being solidified.
"We are also looking at opportunities to expand beyond Arizona into nearby states, but we have no details available yet," he said in an email. Those discussions have included Colorado and Texas, though specifics haven't been announced.
Katz also revealed that they are working on a new concept, a smaller, more casual version of Barrio Queen, in Scottsdale, near the Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd.
"We're growing the brand...with passion," said Chef Mata. "We're doing it with passion. Our owners are very, they're very, very passionate about Mexican culture and about Mexican food."
As for the new concept, he said, "we want to create something smaller, something very unique, again, having almost the same base of menu, but having some different menu items." Mata said some of the new dishes would be modernized versions of Mexican cuisine.
Barrio Queen bills itself as an authentic Southwestern Mexican restaurant.
Chef Mata said in crafting the menu he wanted to take different flavors and techniques from all of the various states and regions in Mexico. The menu features appetizers, soups, salads, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and more than a dozen house specialty dishes.