Chef Michael Schlow Closes Barrio Cantina

By Scott Kearnan  |  January 14, 2014

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.