El Toro Barbacoa has opened in Millersville, offering “modern Mexican” fare in the former home of the Barn Door restaurant.
The new restaurant at 14 Blue Rock Road has a menu that includes tacos and burritos as well as brisket and barbecued pulled pork and chicken. There are also chips and salsa, nachos, soups and salads, plus sides such as coleslaw, macaroni and cheese and baked beans.
El Toro Barbacoa is owned by Gabriel Montalvo and Emily Pryzbylkowski. They bought the property in May for $326,500.
The Millersville couple, who met at a culinary school in Philadelphia, said they had been considering opening a restaurant in the area for a while and saw an opportunity when the former Barn Door was listed for sale.
Montalvo and Pryzbylkowski said they wanted to offer something appealing for the college town, saying menu items are priced with college students in mind. And everything is available for takeout.
Montalvo, who does most of the cooking, said the barbecue reflects a variety of American styles, including Texas-style dry rubs, South Carolina-style vinegar-based rubs and hickory smoking typical of Kansas City-style barbecue.
The roughly 80-seat restaurant is currently only open for dinner, but a lunch menu is planned in the next couple months. A Sunday brunch also may be added.
El Toro Barbacoa will operate as a BYOB facility since the sale did not include the Barn Door’s liquor license, which was sold to Sheetz.
Before opening, the new owners did some cleaning and freshening up at the restaurant, which was known for its dark, woody interior.
Some lights were brightened, carpeting was removed and the floor painted teal in one dining area. More upgrades are planned soon, including work on the restaurant’s exterior.
El Toro Barbacoa now operates with about a half-dozen employees, although more will be added as hours are expanded.
The Barn Door, which opened in 1971, closed last October. The restaurant was created in a circa-1868 building that was originally built as a scales house for the Millersville Turnpike.