Restaurant prepares to open at Harbor Place

MIKE LABELLA/Staff photoDan and Maggie Osborn of Atkinson during construction of their new Barrio Tacos restaurant in the Harbor Place complex overlooking the Merrimack River. 

HAVERHILL — In less than a month, Dan and Maggie Osborn plan to open their downtown restaurant Barrio Tacos — subject to the state's COVID-19 regulations.

The Atkinson husband and wife said they have many exciting plans for their restaurant at the Harbor Place complex next to the Merrimack River.

Harbor Place, which opened in 2016 at the eastern gateway to downtown, is a mix of businesses, residential units, a UMass Lowell satellite campus and a boardwalk overlooking the river where the old Woolworth building sat vacant for decades.

Harbor Place is a partnership between the nonprofit Greater Haverhill Foundation, which developed the Ward Hill Business Park in the 1960s, and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, the nonprofit residential development arm of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. The collaboration created Merrimack Street Ventures.

Located on the ground floor of Harbor Place and facing the river, the space that will house Barrio Tacos has undergone an artistic renovation with a vintage chic vibe, Dan Osborn said.

He and his wife have been working with trade artisans to include elaborate artwork and steel features on the 4,000-square-foot interior and vibrant murals on the exterior and patio area.

The name Barrio was chosen because it translates to neighborhood or community in Spanish, Dan Osborn said. He and his wife also own a successful Barrio Tacos restaurant in downtown Portsmouth.

When allowed by COVID-19 rules to operate, the Haverhill restaurant plans to host events like Taco Tuesdays and community taco-eating contests, the first of which will feature the Police Department versus the Fire Department.

"We are really excited to bring Barrio Tacos to Haverhill and the surrounding community,” Maggie Osborn said. "We’ve enjoyed working with Merrimack Street Ventures to make this a reality. Harbor Place and Barrio Tacos will add a new dining choice to the area, and we are looking forward to joining the exciting restaurant experience in Haverhill."

“It is terrific to have such a unique restaurant concept come to Harbor Place on the Merrimack," said Ron Trombley, managing director of the Greater Haverhill Foundation. "We’re very excited to experience all of what Barrio Tacos will be offering in the coming months."

The restaurant is part of an effort by the city to redevelop the eastern end of downtown so it has the same success enjoyed by the western end of downtown in recent years. The western end features a variety of popular restaurants that have boosted the economy.

Barrio Tacos is hiring for all positions, including hosts, servers, bartenders, line cooks and dishwashers. The hours of operation will be Monday to Thursday from 4 p.m to 1 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Training takes place at the Barrio Tacos restaurant in downtown Portsmouth.

A job fair will be held at the new Barrio Tacos at Harbor Place on Monday, June 15, from 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information about the restaurant, visit barrio-tacos.com.

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