Barrio Cerveceria brings Mexican fiesta to Leslieville

Photo:  Dean Seguin

Photo: Dean Seguin

Tacos and margaritas on the patio is quickly becoming a Leslieville ritual.

The shuttered Joy Bistro on Queen East has been overhauled, and is now reopen as Barrio Cerveceria.

Barrio means 'neighbourhood' in Spanish, and owner Ted Koutsogiannopoulos says the restaurant's focus is on the community with an approachable, local feel.

The menu plays on a Mexican theme with a handful of inexpensive dishes including tostadas, tacos, sandwiches and huarache. Starters like fried quesadillas chips, guac and salsas round out the offering at the 300-seat space, which includes an upstairs lounge and event area.

Barrio is using the two outdoor spaces to their full potential with a patio adjacent Jimmie Simpson park and a courtyard-style side terrace with a newly painted mural in between buildings.

Things have come full circle for local restaurateur Ted Koutsogiannopoulos, who also owns McGugan's, Aprile Bambina and Loaded Pierogi on Gerrard. The original owner of Joy Bistro, which he opened first as Joy Java in 1999 and sold in 2008, stepped back in with big plans for the beautiful, historic building when Joy shuttered in June.