Buena Onda Baja Taqueria, a concept by James Beard Award-Winning and Iron Chef Jose Garces, will expand with four new locations in 2022, with the first two locations secured for Center City and Radnor. Ideation Hospitality, which acquired Garces Restaurant Group in 2018, hopes to open Buena Onda’s first two new locations on Cinco de Mayo.
Scott Campanella, the COO at Ideation Hospitality, said the decision to open new brick-and-mortar Buena Onda locations came after the company saw a “tremendous demand” outside its current market when they ghost kitchened the concept.
“We were always interested in the company as a premium QSR concept. We had plans to get it started in late 2019, and then COVID happened. Frankly, we were very impressed with its resilience during COVID,” Campanella told What Now Philadelphia. “We think the concept is a really great family concept. We think families will enjoy having access to quality food at a modest price.”
Buena Onda will replace Tinto Pintxo, another Garces restaurant, at 114 S. 20th St. The 1,700 sq. ft. Rittenhouse Square restaurant, located next to Garces’ other restaurant, Village Whiskey, will seat 24 guests inside and have additional seasonal outdoor seating. Tinto Pintxo small bite and bottle shop will reopen in a new Center City location sometime in the fall. The other confirmed location is a 2,000 sq. ft. space in the Main Line suburbs at 200 N. Radnor Chester Rd. in Radnor, which previously housed a Jimmy John’s. The Randor location will have 46 indoor seats and six outdoor seats. Both sites will serve liquor via a service bar and offer their own signature bottled and canned cocktails, including margaritas and sangrias.
Each of the locations will be gutted and rebuilt. Buena Onda’s original location at 1901 Callowhill St. in Fairmount will also get a refreshed makeover so that all sites have a uniform branded look. Two additional Buena Ondas, whose locations have yet to be finalized, are scheduled to open in the fall.
“Before the end of 2022, we’ll have five locations in the Philadelphia market for Buena Onda. Some in non-traditional locations that might not be street retail but might be in entertainment or sports concepts,” Campanella said.
The taqueria brand will also start franchising with the help of Ideation Hospitality’s sister company Ballard brands, which owns PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, WOW American Eats, and New Orleans Roast Coffee & Tea, this summer. So, you can expect to find Buena Onda popping up nationwide in the future. Learn more about Buena Onda at buenaondatacos.com.