In 2000, Downing Barber utilized both his master’s degree in international business and his skills as a trained chef to open the first Barberitos restaurant in downtown Athens. Today, Barberitos has grown to become an award-winning, fast-casual Southwestern Grille and Cantina with 50 locations across seven Southeastern states.
Dedicated to serving farm-fresh, high-quality food, the brand will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 20, by offering a small cheese dip for 20-cents to all guests at participating locations. This date also commemorates the first-ever National Burrito Bowl Day.
While Barberitos continues its steady momentum of growth by adding new locations and introducing new menu items throughout the years, many of its procedures and values have stayed the same during its 20-year history. For example, menu items are prepared and cooked in-house daily including hand-smashed guacamole, home-made salsas, fresh-cut vegetables, rice and beans, as well as chicken, steak, turkey, pulled pork and tofu.
“Barberitos has remained true to our mission of serving ‘fresh, fast and delicious’ food since we opened our first restaurant in 2000,” says Barber. “Barberitos is like a big family, and we have always strived to treat all of our guests as extended family, which is why we have such a loyal following through the years.”
As part of the year-long celebrations, there is a national promotion with ESPN broadcaster and former NFL player David Pollack. The promotion invites fans to take a selfie with a Pollack standee inside all Barberitos locations to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Athens to meet Pollack, along with free Barberitos food for a year.