Chef Michael Schlow Closes Barrio Cantina
In with the old, out with the new? This same week that star chef Michael Schlow revived his Schlowburger (made famous at the late Radius) for a pop-up at Via Matta, he's shuttered a less than year-old restaurant: Barrio Cantina. The funky, casual Mexican near Fenway is the second Schlow concept to close there; it had replaced Happy's Bar & Kitchen, a cute and kooky American (it once served chef-driven "TV dinners") that also fell short of a first anniversary. Schlow said in a statement that he is "very sad to close Barrio," and "disappointed to be in this position, as we love being a part of the exciting, emerging Fenway neighborhood. We still believe whole-heartedly in the location, but obviously we were unable to execute the right concept to drive enough business." The statement reiterated what Schlow told us in December: besides the imminent opening his first West Coast restaurant (and a Washington, DC location of his more fortunate Back Bay Mexican Tico), he plans to "focus on the growth" of the Italian Alta Strada brand in the Boston area.