There’s a new addition to the increasingly eclectic restaurant scene that is West Chester. Baco Juice & Taco Bar recently opened at 8 West Gay Street, and is now serving customers from both the front window and inside their small juice bar.
Baco (like Taco) is the brainchild of two longtime friends, Kristen DelVescovo and Kim O’Donnell. The two women met at Great Valley High School and also attended WCU together.
“We’ve been friends for years, and we’ve been working in restaurants since we were fifteen,” Kristen said during my recent visit. Both women worked in the corporate world before deciding to join forces and open their own breakfast/lunch spot. Baco will also be open late on Friday and Saturday nights, providing window service until 2 a.m.
Their unique window already appears to be a hit. On recent weekday afternoons, folks could be seen placing their orders through and sipping smoothies as they strolled down Gay Street. “We’re creating street food,” Kristen told me. “People like to order and go.”
The interior space is small, with stools lined up at a bar where customers can watch the juice and smoothie making in action. The walls are painted southwest style—pastel orange and green, with wood and tin accents. A shelf is lined with pineapples. Baco uses an interesting assortment of juicers, including an orange juicer where you can watch oranges roll in, get sliced in half, and the juice squeezed out—a bit like a healthy Willy Wonka machine.
The menu of smoothies and juices provides choices for the health conscious and for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth. I sampled their refreshing Baco Juice, made with freshly squeezed orange juice, carrots, and ginger. A perfect energizer on a 90-degree day. Kristen told me another early customer favorite appears to be the Limelight, made with avocado, apple, granola, lime and honey. For those looking to sneak in something sweet, I suggest trying the Hipster, made with milk, Nutella, banana and graham crackers. Sounds decadent, doesn’t it?
The breakfast menu includes burritos, bagels, granola and fruit cups, and it seems there’s something for everyone on the menu, even quinoa porridge. Kristen stressed that they wanted to provide healthy options and strive to use local and organic when possible.
During my visit, I sampled their fish taco, which includes pineapple salsa, cabbage slaw, and is topped with a roasted poblano crema. The taco is served on a soft shell and made for an excellent mid-afternoon meal. The day’s catch was tilapia, but Kristen explained they will change it up with whatever fresh white fish is available.
The taco selection includes vegetarian, buffalo shrimp, adobo chicken, and a slow-cooked pulled pork, and you have the option of adding rice and beans to any. The burrito selections include grilled steak, chicken, and pulled pork.
Looking for something that is not Mexican? Kim’s mother is Vietnamese, and she makes their Vietnamese spring rolls. (They also offer a Vietnamese cold noodle salad.) It’s all part of the friendly family service. “We have seven on staff right now, all family and friends.” Kristen said. “We tested out all the smoothies and juices with our friends.”
Asked about their first week in business, Kim replied, “We’re so happy with the response. People have been so patient. It’s been a hectic first week, but it’s been fun!”
Baco Juice & Taco Bar is open Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Their phone number is (610) 436-4177.
Photographs credited to Bonsai Doll Fern Photography.