Iron Chef Jose Garces announces the expansion of Buena Onda across the region with two new locations coming to Center City Philadelphia and the Main Line. Buena Onda is Chef’s famed taqueria that is inspired by the spirit and good vibes of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The new locations will open in early to late spring in the Rittenhouse neighborhood, at 114 S. 20th Street, and in Radnor, at 200 Radnor Chester Rd. Each new location will offer Buena’s signature dishes such as environmentally conscious seafood tacos, classic tacos, Buena bowls, nachos, guacamole, chips and salsa, rice and beans, churros and many other offerings.
Buena Onda’s expansion is part of a larger national strategy that includes multiple brands within the Garces portfolio. The fast casual concept, with a heavy emphasis on take-out and delivery, will expand to the Rittenhouse neighborhood taking over the former home to Tinto Pintxo. Tinto, Garces’ Basque-inspired concept, rebranded during the pandemic and reopened in spring 2021 as Tinto Pintxo with a strong focus on retail wine offering through a newly added bottle shop. Tinto Pintxo will reopen in a new location in fall 2022 in a space designed specially to accent the updated concept. Details of the new location are expected this summer.
The expansion of Buena Onda also includes a refresh for the original location in Fairmount. Longtime fans of Buena Onda can expect a stronger nod to the beachside surf shacks that the brand is inspired by, including dune fencing and a authentic “boardwalk” feel as guests queue to order; a lighter, whitewash wood feeling and nods to an “Endless Summer’ vibe throughout the interiors; the iconic menu board featuring fish tacos, fresh house made guacamole and Salsa Mexicana, quesadillas, churros, and more will hold a prominent place; as well as the addition of a variety of grab and go items like freshly made salsa, salads, and aqua frescas with seasonal flavors.
All new locations moving forward will feature alcoholic beverages but there will be no bar in the new concepts. There will be an emphasis on cans and bottles, including canned Buena Onda branded Margaritas in a variety of flavors like classic, strawberry, prickly pear, etc.
In an effort to improve both guest and delivery driver experiences with the brand, each location will now incorporate design elements that provide functional storage. Incorporating design functional elements that address the nature of to go/delivery is an important factor as the concept expands and pivots. This will include a set area for pick-ups for delivery platforms and for guests for take-out.
For new locations, Garces has tapped Styer Associates for interior design and architectural needs. The national firm was selected for their ability to help with the national Garces expansion of the brand. Styer Associates will offer a one-stop solution that offers both design and construction services, allowing for a seamless project management, and so that Garces can open new locations as efficiently as possible, minimizing setbacks and delays. Styer Associates has also been tapped to come up with the new design for other Garces projects, such as the new location footprints for Tinto Pintxo.For the new Radnor location, Buena Onda will open at 200 Radnor Chester Road, Radnor, PA, Suite 226 with 2,000 square feet of space that includes 46 seats inside and 6 seats outside.
“The current take-out culture mixed with the ongoing environment of working from home has made this the perfect time to expand and bring Buena Onda to the Main Line,” said Garces. “The Radnor location was attractive to us for the premium quality of neighboring restaurants, and I’m thrilled to introduce Buena Onda into this dynamic market. Inspired by surf towns along the Mexican coastline, this quick service restaurant features a menu focused heavily on seafood. Options such as shrimp and fish tacos, alongside more classic options such as pork al pastor tacos, nachos, guacamole and meatless tofu chorizo tacos ensure every palette will leave pleased. We can’t wait to bring Buena Onda’s signature “good vibes and great food” to the Main Line!”
For the new Rittenhouse location, Garces will open at 114 S. 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA, next to Village Whiskey. The location offers 1,700 square feet of space, with seating inside for 24 people. There will also be outdoor seating in nice weather months.
“Since the pandemic began, our team has worked hard at developing a national expansion strategy in partnership with Ballard Brands,” said Garces. “Similar to the expansion into Philadelphia suburbs, we feel that the Rittenhouse neighborhood and community will enjoy the new destination dining options including Shack Shake, Tria’s Bar Poulet, Village Whiskey and more just off the square.”
Currently, Buena Onda is open in Fairmount at 1901 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA, with 1,850 square feet of space with seating inside for 36 people, and outdoor seasonal seating. Garces fans in Fairmount can currently enjoy take-out, delivery and dine-in, plus specials that include Mondays (Two Pork Al Pastor tacos for $5 and add a tecate for $1), Tuesdays (Half price margaritas, dine-in) and Thursdays ($2 Pollo Tacos). Happy hour currently runs Monday to Friday, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, with specials on Pork Al Pastor and Pollo Tacos, Chips and Salsa Mexicana, Draft Beers and RedWhite Sangria. Hours for Fairmount currently are seven days a week, 11:00am to 9:00pm.