Taco Tank’s owner will open a Mexican barbecue restaurant on Troost this spring

Roman Raya of Taco Tank and the upcoming Barbacoa/Photo by Caleb Condit and Rebecca Norden

The owner of the Mexican street food vendor Taco Tank will open a standalone restaurant, called Barbacoa, this coming spring.

Owner Roman Raya says the future restaurant will serve traditional Mexican food with a barbecue influence, a concept that will reflect his “Mexican-American upbringing in Kansas City.” 

The new flagship of the Tank brigade, located at 55th and Troost, provides Raya and his team the opportunity to create a full restaurant experience, much of which is not possible while working out of a vendor space. Along with smoked carnitas, moles, and handmade tortillas, seasonal cocktails and desserts will also grace the menu. A cozy six-person bar will sling cocktails crafted with Mexican spirits such as tequila, rum, and sotol. Madeline Buechter, co-owner of Barbacoa and Raya’s longtime managing partner of Taco Tank, will be head of the bar program. “We plan on listing which cocktails pair best with our menu. I want the cocktails to match the food and create a complete experience,” Buechter says.

When asked if guests can expect recipes from Taco Tank to make an appearance at Barbacoa, Raya insists that’s not his plan as of now. “Our new menu will focus on slower, more delicate, preparation and enjoyment versus the fast-casual street fare we offer at Taco Tank,” he says. Open fire will be a common cooking technique throughout Barbacoa’s menu, marrying “old school barbecue with classic Mexican.”

As for the future of Taco Tank, the Northland location in the Iron District will be open for the 2023 season but the Parlor location will close in March. 

To keep updated with Barbacoa’s opening date, follow @BarbacoaKC on Instagram.

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