Pacifico Cantina Opening on Barracks Row Thursday June 14th

514 8th Street, SE

Back in Nov. 2010 we learned that Pacifico Cantina was going to replace the Capital Video Sales store on Barracks Row next to Belga at 514 8th Street, SE.

Pacifico Cantina from Xavier Cervera [Senart’s, Lola’s, Boxcar Tavern, Molly Malone’s future Hawk n Dove] is opening on Thursday:

A reader snuck a peek at the inside:

I’m still most excited about the roof deck:

39 Comment

  • I was kind of irritated to find no menu on their website. Then I remembered it will probably be exactly like every other one of his eateries.

    • I walk by there twice a day and have thought about asking if I could peek at the menu, but then I thought why bother. Nevertheless, roofdecks are in short supply in the neighborhood and I’m looking forward to having a drink up there.

    • Senart’s: Fried Oyster Salad
      Lola’s: Fried Oyster Po-Boy
      Pacifico Cantina: Fried Oyster Tacos

  • more roof decks

  • Oh joy, more of his mediocre food

    • Actually, I find the food at Boxcar and Chesapeake Room to be quite good. I agree that his formula is getting overused. However, this looks to be much more of a restaurant than restaurant/bar. A lot more seating and different layout than his other establishments.

      • My gripe about Boxcar is the meat-centric menu. My partner and I live really close (we share the alley with them) but she’s vegetarian and aside from a sad veggie sandwich there’s nothing for her to eat. We’ve only been there a couple of times for drinks. Same problem with Senart’s, but that’s specifically an oyster and chophouse so I wouldn’t expect them to have vegetarian items.

        Chesapeake Room is ok, but for the prices I’d expect better. Out of all the Xavier establishments I’ve tried I like Molly Malone’s the best, even though I’m never that excited about Irish pubs.

      • I’ve been to both, I still think it’s bland. Nice people work there though

  • I can’t even get excited about the roofdeck because of the all cigarette smoke! Though at least the smoke won’t affect the taste of his food.

  • Speaking of Hawk n Dove, any word on when they will be reopening?

  • even tackier than I imagined it would be. why does anyone frequent these places? Even on the Hill you can do better

    • That interior photo is terrible and really does not do it justice. Not that it’s anything great, but I wouldn’t say it’s tacky.

    • And what you do mean ‘even on the hill’?

    • that’s my issue with Capitol Hill. We only have two to four decent restaurants, it’s like the neighborhood is cursed with mediocre food. I’m not a fan of spending $25 to $30 for an entree that’s not wowing. And the bartenders are friendly but they can’t make decent cocktails.

    • the only people that frequent these places are Hill folks that don’t feel like leaving the neighborhood. I can’t imagine people going across town for any of Cervera’s restaurant.

      • personally I don’t go across the street for them, but some people obviously do

      • I come from across town to go to Senart’s all the time. Nice place with very good food and drinks.

  • Which are the 2 to 4 restaurants that you like? Just curious…I’m always on the hunt for new eats.

    • I like:

      Aqua al Due – expensive, but good, and I love the ambiance
      Ted’s – The food is not that special but I just adore the decor
      Montmarte – Great food and very charming
      Cava – A little pricey because it’s small plates, but great food and ambiance.
      Cafe 8 – Basic middle eastern, but good, and the servers are very nice. I especially like their back patio.

    • I like:
      Acqua al 2
      Seventh Hill Pizza is OK
      and Wisdom for cocktails

  • This place does seem like it will be mediocre. But now i have a craving for fried oyster tacos

  • ++1,000 on his “ticky tacky “plates” on the “hillside” (apologies to Malvina Reynolds”…but it’s true. How to encourage really good food? Maybe by not concentrating them all on one strip encouraging rents to be jacked through the roof…making it impossible for those without a “formula” to compete.

  • Sheesh, I don’t think any of these places are that terrible. I wouldn’t trek across town for them, but they’re comfortable neighborhood spots. Cervera definitely filled a void when he opened up Lola’s. I don’t think we need 50 of them, but before, there weren’t really any casual bars that weren’t dives. I like dives as much as the next girl, but every now and then, I appreciate having my beer in nicer surroundings that don’t smell like urine. Also, while the food isn’t cheap, it’s pretty solid. Not high end dining, but solid. I think with the exception of a mediocre brunch at Chesapeake Room, I’ve been pretty satisfied with all my meals at his places and I gotta say, I do like the decor.

    Oh yeah, and that rooftop is baller.

    • So many complaints. Whenever any new restaurant opens, the naysayers come out of the word work.

      If you don’t like it, then don’t go. I’ve lived in Cap Hill since the 90’s, and I’ll take one of Xavier’s places any day over our previous choices. The beer choices are extensive and the menu is decent bar food – I’m not expecting an amazing dining experience.

    • thanks for posting. interesting menu but damn expensive, tortilla cafe is half the price and solid food.

      • Tortilla Cafe has good food, but it’s not nearly as inventive and really quite different than this menu. Also, it’s a casual hole-in-the-wall that doesn’t serve alcohol and has brusque service. I don’t think you can compare the two because they’re entirely different cuisines and dining experiences.

        • agreed, but the price points of this place are high compared to most tex mex places around, even ones who serve alcohol. Tortilla Cafe gets high marks for quality food, low prices, and friendly service. i’d rather get takeout and a six pack for home than pay $12 for quesadillas.

          • The woman who normally mans the register was very rude to me once (all while keeping a giant smile plastered on her face, which was creepy as hell). So I boycotted Tortilla Cafe for a while. But after half a year or so I started coming back. I only live one block away, and although their food is easy enough to make at home I like getting it occasionally.

  • Zest has excellent food on the Row also — try it!

    • The kitchen needs to be more efficient though. The one time I went it took and hour and a half for the food to arrive.

    • Have to agree. I live in the area and have tried just about everything on 8th St. Zest is by far my favorite…

  • I’ve given up on getting any great, affordable restaurants on 8th Street. If, in addition to the Spring Mill bakery, I could at least have a decent size grocery store and a bar that isn’t filled with douchebags I would be happy…

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