There will be chips and salsa on the house, along with the formality of a ribbon cutting Friday, as the newest downtown Columbus eatery, Barberitos, has its grand opening at 1012 Broadway, where Brother’s General Store once operated.
The 85-seat Mexican restaurant, which bills itself as a “Southwestern Grille & Cantina,” had a soft opening last weekend, with corporate people spending time on site this weekend to make certain everything is running smoothly.
“But this Friday night we’re having our big ribbon cutting and grand opening,” said Barrett Feighner, who owns the two Barberitos locations in Columbus with wife, Christa, the other being at The Landings shopping center on Whitesville Road. They also own two Your Pie pizza outlets locally, one also at The Landings and the other downtown across the street from the new Barberitos at 1019 Broadway.
Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson will kick things off with a snip of the ribbon at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Then a musical duo called The Shelby Brothers will perform as guests enjoy a “block party” with free samples from the eatery, which will have sidewalk table seating as well.
“They’re going to have a band out in front on the median and we’ll shut down the one side of the street” at 6 p.m., said Becca Zajac, vice president of marketing and community relations at Uptown Columbus. “We pretty much just pulled the permits for them. They’re handling all of the details.”
Barberitos joins an expanding menu in downtown Columbus, with Barrett Feighner expecting it do well, particularly with the lunch crowd. That includes downtown workers, those flocking to the area to grab a bite to eat, and the ever-expanding presence of Columbus State University students and faculty.
“We can get you in and out pretty quickly and at a reasonable price,” he said. “I think it’s a concept that’s missing in downtown, and will add to the restaurant experience down here ... We’re very happy to be a part of the community down here, and I just see it getting better in the future.”
While burritos, tacos, quesadillas and nachos are now on the menu at the downtown location, alcohol is not available at the moment, Feighner said. It will be a couple of weeks, he said, before the city license is approved to allow the eatery to serve beer, wine and margaritas.
Athens, Ga.-based Barberitos, founded in 2008, now has more than 40 locations in the Southeastern states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.
The downtown Barberitos now inhabits the former home of Brother’s General Store, operated by Irvin “Brother” Rosenberg, who passed away in October 2013 at age 70. He had operated the store since 2007, serving up everything from candy and ice cream to sandwiches and knick-knacks. Prior to that, Rosenberg had operated a pawn shop at the Broadway address, although his family had done business in the area more than half a century.