Diego’s Barrio Cantina has confirmed with What’sUpNewp that they will open to the public for the first time, this evening (Friday, April 6th) at 5:30 pm. The newest addition to the Diego’s/Wharf Pub family takes the place of Easton’s Point Pub, located at 116 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown. Scott and Adrienne Kirmil, who own Wharf Pub and Diego’s on Bowen’s Wharf, purchased the building and business towards the end of 2017.

What’sUpNewp first reported back in December, Diego’s Barrio Cantina would be opening in Middletown.

The downstairs portion of the project will be open starting tonight and Kirmil tells WhatsUpNewp that they’re shooting for a May 1st completion of the upstairs renovations. The upstairs space will be multi-functioning and can also be booked for private events. The Bodega has moved from its previous location next door at 124 Aquidneck Avenue into the street side section of the new building and is open for all your burrito-on-the-go needs!

Lisa Virdagamo, who serves as the bar manager at Diego’s, has been working tirelessly on cocktails for the new menu and getting the bar ready to open. “We are really excited about the new location,” said Virgadamo. “It’s a cool new twist on Diego’s, it’s less “day of the dead” and more “street art” style with graffiti, live music, a smaller drink list, and more of an eclectic urban vibe.”

With the approval of an entertainment license, Diego’s Barrio Cantina will fill a void in the music scene missing since the Atlantic Beach Club closed in 2015. Entertainment starts tonight with Love Handle starting at 9:30 pm. There is no cover and according to ownership, they hope to do live music and special events each Friday and Saturday night. “We are going to have bands every Friday, some specials events on Saturdays and possibly even explore some other options such as comedy shows,” Kirmil told WhatsUpNewp contributor Sarah McClutchy earlier this year.

The menu at Diego’s Barrio Cantina, both drink, and food will differ from their downtown location. “The menu is different, with unique takes on street food classics and the addition of newly refined entrees. There’s Mexican pop art across the venue and a really welcoming feel,” said Kirmil. Chef Mark Tallman will be taking the helm at the new Diego’s Barrio Cantina and Kyle Shea will work as sous. “There’s a lot to be excited about with the new menu and I can’t wait for everyone to give it a try!”

The Barrio Cantina hours will start on a consolidated schedule; they will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 5 pm until 1 am and open for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am until 6 pm. As peak seasons approaches, hours of operation will expand and eventually the new location will be open every night.

Although the new Diego’s location opens their doors tonight, renovations will continue and Kirmil stressed that more is coming to the exterior of the building. “I don’t want people to drive by and ask, ‘what have they even done?’ We are going to continue improvements on the property and have a lot in store for this location!”

With the expansion of the downtown restaurant and the addition of this new venture, WhatsUpNewp asked Kirmil if he ever sleeps; “Not too much these days,” Kirmil said with a laugh. “But it’s what we love doing, so we sign up for it!”

Diego’s Barrio Cantina opens their doors at 5:30 tonight. Love Handle kicks off entertainment tonight at 9:30. Stop by to say congratulations and enjoy a margarita at the newest hot spot in Middletown!

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Tyler Bernadyn

Born and raised in the Ocean State, Tyler is a Providence College graduate ('11) who proudly calls Newport home. A professional realtor by trade, he prides himself on building relationships and sharing his love for Rhode Island with others. He is an active member of the local community, a weekly contributor for WhatsUpNewp and is involved with a number of charitable causes. An avid traveler, you can find him exploring whenever possible. When he's not working, he enjoys golfing, boating, cooking, walking his dog Red and enjoying time with family and friends.

Tyler is a Providence College graduate who proudly calls Newport home. He is an avid traveler, golfer and has a passion for cooking and entertaining. Tyler is a weekly contributor for WhatsUpNewp and is involved in a number of community events and local charities. In his down time, you can find Tyler walking his two rescue dogs, Bella and Red or enjoying time with family and friends.