Barrio Plans Haverhill Restaurant Opening Next Month with Police vs. Fire Dept. Taco-Eating Contest

Barrio Tacos will open at Harbor Place on Haverhill's Merrimack Street. (Courtesy photograph)

When Barrio Tacos comes to downtown Haverhill—now projected next month—its first taco-eating contest will be between the Haverhill Police and Fire Departments.

The update on the Cleveland, Ohio-based restaurant chain comes from Harbor Place co-developer William H. Grogan, president of the Archdiocese’s Planning Office for Urban Affairs. Following the first responders’ taco contest, there will be similar matchups each month at the riverfront location. Grogan said in a statement, progress constructing and opening Barrio Tacos, Tequila and Whiskey has been dictated by state pandemic regulations.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Barrio to the Harbor Place community and appreciate how efficiently the Barrio team has been moving forward throughout this crisis,” he said.

Barrio owners are Maggie and Dan Osborn of Atkinson, N.H., who began construction last fall inside a 4,000-square-foot space set-aside for dining space at the 2 Merrimack St. commercial building.

In an earlier interview with WHAV, Maggie Osborn said the couple was tasked with bringing Barrio to the East Coast by her brother, who operates other locations. When fully operational, the restaurant plans to offer build-your-own tacos with a host of proteins like marinated steak, pulled pork, shrimp and chicken and available in signature shells like “The Green Goddess” and “The Bombshell.”

Grogan said Barrio also plans such events as taco Tuesdays.

On the residential side of Harbor Place, Harbor Place management and ownership team assembled care packages for residents, including a roll of toilet paper and facial masks handmade and donated by Jennifer Licciardi.

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