Restaurateur Chris Ridler knew he had a hit on his hands with Brookside Barrio, which opened about a year and a half ago at Brookside Plaza and 62nd Terrace. The restaurant, which he operates with business partner Luke Pickett, is known for its fresh “Cali-Mex” menu of street tacos, salads and kebabs, as well as its specialty Margaritas and cocktails. So when it came time to open Red Bridge Barrio, located at Red Bridge and Holmes Roads in South KC, he knew what he had to do: take the same formula, and just make it bigger and better.

Featuring a coastal/beach theme designed by Chris' wife, Kristen Ridler, Red Bridge Barrio is located in the newly remodeled Red Bridge Shopping Center, at Holmes and Red Bridge Roads in South Kansas City. Between its dining room and 2,000-square-foot patio, the restaurant seats approximately 150 diners. Diners can choose to sit and eat at two bars (one located indoors, one outdoors), or at a variety of seating configurations, from high-tops and low tables to booths. The restaurant is welcoming to families and large groups.

Red Bridge Barrio’s menu expands on what is offered at the original Brookside Barrio location. New menu items include jalapeño crab cakes, served with mango coleslaw; slow-roasted pork empanadas with poblano cream sauce; and beer-battered (or pepper-grilled) shrimp tacos with mango relish, queso fresco and cilantro-lime aïoli ($10-$13). These items join well-tested items like the marinated chicken mini chimis with pickled jalapeños, the burnt-end quesadilla and street tacos with avocado-tomatillo salsa ($10-$13). One of the restaurant’s most popular items is the surf and turf kebabs: hunks of grilled steak and shrimp are served along with cremini mushrooms, red peppers and onions in a tangy cilantro chimichurri. The dish comes with served with seasoned rice and elotes ($15).

Red Bridge Barrio also offers an extended happy hour, which runs Monday through Thursday from 2:30 to 6:30pm, and Fridays from 1:30 to 6:30pm. Appetizers, including the burnt end quesadilla, Valentina wings and jalapeño crab cakes, are available for $5-$10, and Red Bridge Barrio’s signature street tacos are available for $2.25 apiece, with a minimum order of two requested. This also provides a great opportunity to sample from the restaurant’s Margarita menu, including $5 happy hour Margaritas like the pepino (cucumber), spicy pineapple and a low-calorie “skinny” Margarita. Beer, including KC Bier Co.’s Dunkel, Negro Modelo and Corona, are also available for $3.50.

Red Bridge Barrio offers weekend brunch, with items including carnitas hash, biscuits and chorizo gravy, chilaquiles and pork and egg enchiladas ($9.50-$12). Bottomless mimosas are also available for $11.50 with any entrée.

This area of South Kansas City has been long underserved by the local restaurant industry, and area residents have been filling Red Bridge Barrio’s bars and tables since the restaurant opened about two weeks ago. Its approachable, affordable menu and welcoming service seem likely to keep these customers coming.

Red Bridge Barrio is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 11pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to midnight and Sunday from 11am to 10pm.

Red Bridge Barrio, 11118 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.974.0520, barriokc.com/redbridge

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April is a Kansas Citian by way of New Mexico, worker bee, freelance writer and photographer, food, music, animal and travel lover.

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