The creator of one of Newcastle’s most popular pop-up venues is now opening his own restaurant inspired by the success of his initial venture.
Barrio Comida opened on the city’s Quayside in December 2016 and became a staple of the food scene with its Mexican menu, informal atmosphere and accessible prices.
Now, chef Shaun Hurrell – who worked for Michelin-starred chefs Marcus Wareing and Fergus Henderson in London – is taking the brand to Durham, making significant investment in a site on Church Street to create a two-floor social venue, with its renowned tacos a staple of its food offering. The opening of Barrio Comida will create around 25 jobs.
The restaurant, which will comprise a ground floor taquiera, sizeable outdoor patio area and a basement with a bar and table to seat 16 to 18 people, is set to open next month
Shaun, who hosted successful monthly pop-ups in Durham several years ago while working in the city’s Flat White, said: “We are taking inspiration from our previous site and are keeping all the best things we did in Newcastle, but are now taking it up a level. We did the best we could with our surroundings on the Quayside, but now we have the premises to achieve what we want. We looked at sites for a long while and this place in Durham is great, we found it when it was a hole in the ground and it’s going to look really beautiful.
“We are investing significantly to create something gastronomic which offers the best experience and atmosphere. Our food will be our version of traditional Mexican and we are sourcing corn and machines to make tortillas from Mexico, but we are keeping the same accessible price point we have always had. We are looking at £10 to £15 a head for food which means we can become a regular haunt and not somewhere which is out of the price bracket of many. I have worked in high-end restaurants where none of my friends could ever afford to come in and eat, so it has long been my belief that you can create a great product at a good price.”
Shaun has been supported in securing his licence by law firm Sintons, and was represented by head of licensing Sarah Smith.
Sarah said: “Barrio Comida built an excellent reputation during its time on Newcastle Quayside with its food and laid-back style won it a strong and loyal following. It will come as great news that the brand is now back in a new, permanent site in Durham. Shaun is investing significant amounts of time, effort and funds to create something truly special that builds on the great success of his previous venture, and I have no doubt that his opening will be one of the most eagerly-awaited of the year.”