I would like to introduce to you my new friend, Chef Memo Wulff, whom I met during the live stream concert event at Cacao Magico. Memo was serving guests with his own label raicilla and mixed us up some delicious fruity drinks.
We got to talking, and I asked him how long he had been producing raicilla. He explained that this is a new venture for him, and for most of his life he has been a chef and restaurateur.
Memo was born and raised here in Puerto Vallarta, and his family has always been in the restaurant business. His family opened the first Las Palomas restaurant, and later opened two more locations in the Vallarta area. Memo knew from an early age he would be following family tradition. After years of experience working with the family, he attended the Culinary Academy in San Francisco to expand his culinary skills and techniques, earning a Cordon Bleu diploma. Then he returned to the sunny beaches of Mexico intent on opening his own restaurant.
Original Barrio Bistro Restaurant
Starting in 1997, Memo opened a series of restaurants in the PV area. He had El Dorado in the Romantic Zone, Maria Gallo in El Centro, and El Panino on Francisco Villa. Then he moved to the Versalles neighborhood and decided to open a restaurant there. At first it was just a few tables in a small space, but soon it was successful enough that he rented the empty lot next door and renovated it to become Barrio Bistro. He built a large kitchen area and a cheerful, spacious dining patio. Here Memo uses the finest fresh ingredients to create new weekly menus of traditional and contemporary fusion cuisine.
Barrio Bistro's expanded patio
But he wasn’t done yet. Barrio Bistro has a relaxed atmosphere catering to the refined palette. Memo also wanted a space for more casual dining with a flare for fun. So he rented the next adjacent lot, which was a home in need of repair, and converted it into more dining space and La Lulu Raicillera and Bar. La Lulu boasts its own brand raicilla, Arre Corazon, and has its own menu. Both restaurants are connected, and guests can order from either. La Lulu offers DJ’d Friday nights, and has become a fun local hangout.
Barrio Bistro and La Lulu are easy to find with plenty of street parking. Just off Calle Francia in Colonia Versalles, turn south on Calle Espana (opposite direction of Plaza Caracol,) to #305. Reservations for Barrio Bistro are requested but not required. Both restaurants are following all safety guidelines regarding Covid, and both have reduced price menus during this time of financial difficulty. Go check them out and enjoy, I will be heading there soon myself.