Once home to a dog day care, the building at 2900 Larimer Street has been transformed for the opening of Barcelona Wine Bar, which took place over the weekend. The national restaurant chain started in Connecticut more than 20 years ago, and RiNo is its 15th location.
As the name suggests, Barcelona specializes in Spanish plates and wines, with more than 400 available bottles. The food menu includes cured meats and cheeses, tapas, salads, paellas, and game (see quail, duck, and venison). Most of the menu is dedicated to tapas, though, including classics such as the Spanish omelette, patatas bravas, peel-and-eat garlic shrimp, and marinated olives. For the opening, diners should watch for a rolling cart that serves table-side ham slices.
The restaurant’s new RiNo space is rustic, industrial, and sprawling, centered around a giant bar and filled with high-energy music. Walls, shelving, and tables are covered in wood planks. Exposed ceiling pipes are strung with hanging canister lighting, and a snaking cinder-block wall encloses a spillover or private dining area. Garage doors open onto the side patio, which houses another full bar and fits more than 50 people. The space runs right up to Ratio Brewing, and even sitting empty prior to the opening, it already felt like a party.
Barcelona is the latest in a line of Denver Mediterranean and Spanish restaurant openings, including Acreage by Stem Ciders, Ultreia at Union Station, and El Five in the Lower Highlands. Sometime next week, Corrida will start serving Basque cuisine in Boulder. Barcelona’s sister restaurant, Bartaco, opened last summer in Boulder and will expand this spring or summer to LoHi. Eater got a first look and taste of the new-to-Denver Barcelona with general manager Devan Johnson and executive chef John Iatrellis.
Status: Barcelona Wine Bar is now open daily for dinner, with weekend brunch forthcoming, at 2900 Larimer Street. Menus, reservations, and hours will be posted on the website.