The nearly three-year wait is over. Bakersfield Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey
, a small but growing Cincinnati-based restaurant group, is open in Ohio City. The festive eatery, situated at the corner of W. 25th and Keene Court, just a block south of Lorain, opens today at 4 p.m.
The Bakersfield concept launched in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in 2012. Locations quickly followed in Indianapolis, Columbus, Charlotte, Nashville and Pittsburgh. Ohio City will make number seven.
The name is a tribute to the Bakersfield Sound, a country music genre that originated in Bakersfield, California, in the ‘50s and ‘60s. That music — as well as rock ‘n’ roll — is served up alongside Mexican street foods like tacos, tortas and tostadas. The menu is intentionally concise, says Lanni, because of the company’s dedication to quality.
“It’s not a big menu so we can really focus on doing things the right way,” says owner Joe Lanni. That includes hand-pressing limes and lemons for margaritas, and even crafting the corn tortillas at each location. “It's a little unusual and it's definitely an extra step that a lot of places don't take because tortillas are so widely available. But when you taste our product, you see why we take the extra time.”
Of course, that food will be washed down by plenty of cold beer, tangy margaritas and craft cocktails built from barrel-aged spirits, including whiskey and tequila. The atmosphere at all Bakersfield restaurants is lively, casual and high-spirited, Lanni adds.