The nationally acclaimed taco and torta shop South Philly Barbacoa is tucked into a small space in the Italian Market, and there isn’t room to feed everyone who wants to eat there. It probably didn’t help that David Chang just featured the eatery on his new Netflix show Ugly Delicious. So now owners Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller are raising money to move, for the third time in as many years.
Martinez and Miller started South Philly Barbacoa as a food cart. It quickly grew a big enough following that neighbors complained and the couple had to find another way to get Martinez’s barbacoa to the hungry masses. In 2015, they took over a storefront at 1703 S. 11th Street, in what was formerly Vegan Commissary.
In 2016, Martinez’s son, Isaías Berriozabal-Martinez, opened El Compadre in the Italian Market at 1149 S. 9th Street. Early last year, tragedy struck when Berriozabal-Martinez died at age 23. Martinez and Miller decided to move South Philly Barbacoa into El Compadre, combining the two restaurants and closing South Philly Barbacoa’s 11th Street location (now home to Mike’s BBQ).
But, as South Philly Barbacoa posted today on Facebook:
If you have visited us recently on a weekend, you probably have noticed that it gets pretty jam packed in our small space on 9th st. We want to move the business into a larger, more comfortable location, for our customers and staff. (We already have a space secured and are working hard on making this transition by summertime)
The new location is “very close” to the current one, according to the restaurant. In order to make this happen, Martinez and Miller need to raise money for the move itself, plus new furniture, permits, and more employees. They’re going the Kiva loan route, which, as they explain in the post, is “a crowdfunded loan, which is 0 interest, and payed back to the donors, starting one month after the loan (which we were approved for) is dispersed.”
The first step was to get 20 donors to each give at least $25 within 15 days. That goal was hit within an hour. Next up, they’re trying to raise $10,000 in 30 days. Want to contribute? Give here.
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