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El Rodeo owner opens Baja Shack in Durham's Northgate Mall

Joel Ibarra, the original owner of the El Rodeo Mexican restaurant chain throughout the Triangle, has opened his first restaurant in Durham: Baja Shack at the Northgate Mall.

Baja Shack will serve its specialty fish tacos with beer-battered white fish and customized toppings. The food court restaurant also will offer burritos, tacos, fajitas, chimichangas and quesadillas. To drink, they will offer agua frescas and bottled Jarritos sodas.

The Ibarra family owns the Chile Bomba on Hillsborough Street across from N.C. State University; Jibarra, a fine dining Mexican restaurant in downtown Raleigh; and the La Rancherita casual Mexican restaurants in Morrisville, Apex and Raleigh.

The Baja Shack is located next to Jake's Wayback Burgers in the food court at the mall, 1058 W. Club Blvd, Durham.

El Rodeo on Hillsborough Street to become Chile Bomba

The Ibarra family, the restauratuers behind Jibarra and the El Rodeo restaurants across the Triangle, are converting their original Hillsborough Street location to a new concept.

Charlie Ibarra, one of the younger sons of the Ibarra family, is joining forces with his two brothers, Jessie and Hector, to transform the space into Chile Bomba. He says it will be a more playful concept with Mexican pop art on the walls and a more condensed Tex Mex menu with jalapeno hush puppies and burrito baskets.

The restaurant is at 2400 Hillsborough Street and next door to a Chipotle that will open this fall. It is across the street from N.C. State University. This was the original location of the Ibarra family's first El Rodeo restaurant that opened 18 years ago.

Ibarra hopes the transformation will be complete the week of Aug. 16th.

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