If you’ve strolled through North Park’s farmers market on any given Thursday in the past six months, you’ve probably seen them: a booth slinging lime-brightened bites of fresh ceviche and aguachile, a welcome ready-made snack in a sea of ingredients that may or may not make it out of your crisper alive.
Barracruda, a south-of-the-border-inspired seafood haven that nabbed fans at markets throughout the city, is in the final stages of moving into its first physical storefront in Barrio Logan at the industrial-grand Bread & Salt building. A massive former Wonder Bread warehouse next to Mujeres Brew House, B&S has been a creative hub for Barrio as a gallery and community arts space since 2013. The multi-use space is now steadily and surely bringing in new culinary concepts.
Barracruda has been built in a decked-out shipping container which will double as the kitchen and dining room with seating for roughly 30 people. Diners will crunch tostadas under the glow of neon-light trim, surrounded by eclectic-cool details: a giant mural from Barrio Logan street artist Jorge Mendoza, a classic concrete fast-food table decorated in ornate tile, a plant wall over an Easter Island–style sculpture head, an old upright piano with a Victorian-pink velour bench.
The cevicheria is spearheaded by close friends Eddy Cortes, Freddie Hernandez, and Juan Saad-Quintana, known collectively as the Crudo Boys. The menu honors the bold, spicy, often citrus-forward notes that define the Baja peninsula, flavors Eddy fell in love with after relocating to San Diego from Mexico City and taking day trips to Ensenada.
The concept started in Juan’s backyard on a sweltering summer day. Trying to beat the heat with a lager in hand and chiles from his garden, Cortes started squeezing, salting, charring, and mixing what would become their signature dish—the aguanegro, a shrimp-based, black chile ash–flavored aguachile. At their new spot, they’ll also serve fresca-inspired refreshers, or guests can grab a brew from Mujeres (the two concepts share a patio).
“Every guest who walks through our doors or interacts with us shouldn’t feel like a customer, but like a member of our extended familia,” says Eddy, who spent nearly a decade in restaurants, including Brockton Villa. “[We want to] foster warmth, connection, excitement, and a sense of belonging.”
The cevicheria’s brick-and-mortar is slated to open in mid-April. In the meantime, get a sneak peak on April 1 when Brockton Villa hosts Barracruda’s pop-up speakeasy with a few select ceviches and things and such.