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Jerry Kleiner opens Latin eatery in Downers Grove

By Meghan Morris October 22, 2013

Longtime Chicago restaurateur Jerry Kleiner opened a Latin-themed restaurant in Downers Grove Oct.
15 with little fanfare.

The restaurant, Barbakoa, in a former Buona Beef on Butterfield Road, mixes global Spanish
influences , with a menu thatincludes both paella and tacos.

It’s not Mr. Kleiner’s first foray into Latin-themed food. He opened Carnivale, a “Nuevo Latino”
restaurant, in the
West Loop in 2005 and said he enjoys the possibilities of the ethnic cuisine.

“This is a new interpretation of the food,” Mr. Kleiner said. “We’re taking Latin into a whole
different world, where we’re incorporating more Mexican tastes.”

Executive chef Dudley Nieto is no stranger to these flavors, either. The chef, who was born in
Mexico to a father who grew up in Spain, has brought his culinary twist on Latin food to a
half-dozen New York and Chicago restaurants , including Mezcalina here.

Barbakoa seats 200 inside, with an outdoor dining area open during the summer that will seat 60. A
year­ round, heated outdoor bar adds 50 seats to the restaurant. Mixologist Adam Seger worked on
the menu for the past six months, Mr. Kleiner said.

The restaurant owner said he chose the location for its high visibility. Barbakoa sits on a
high-traffic corner on the wayto Interstate 88 and is positioned to bring in diners from both
nearby office buildings and residential
Oak Brook.

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