Barbosa's Express opens today on Oak

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Chelsea Taylor (far right) is ready to introduce Barbosas to KC.
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  • Chelsea Taylor (far right) is ready to introduce Barbosa's to KC.
Kansas Citians craving a bite of Mexican food from Barbosa's don't have to wait any longer. The well-known Mexican restaurant with two locations in St. Joseph opens a new family franchise, Barbosa's Express, at 1124 Oak today at 10:30 a.m. Owner Chelsea Taylor, whose aunt and uncle run the business in St. Jo, has fielded regular inquiries since the sign went up last month in front of the eatery she will manage.

"I knew people in Kansas City knew about Barbosa's. It's just, we've had people stopping in all the time asking when we were opening," Taylor says.

Barbosa's Express held a soft opening Sunday, introducing its tacos made with flour tortillas (instead of the traditional yellow corn) to the neighborhood.

The tacos at Barbosas.
"It's the exact same food from St. Jo. We're known for our food — our burritos, pork chili and tacos — so nothing has changed," Taylor says. "We've just adjusted the portion sizes and prices to cater to the downtown area."

It's a business that Taylor knows well, working at both St. Joseph restaurants during high school. When she graduated with a degree in business management from Missouri Western State University last May, she approached her family about taking Barbosa's to a new city.

"I had a secret plan that I kept under wraps. I really wanted to franchise the restaurant because I knew it could be successful in other places," Taylor says.

Her family agreed, and Taylor began looking for locations. The former home of the Latin Bistro Express proved to be the right fit. Taylor intends to expand from lunch service, adding breakfast in about a month's time, and will open on weekends if there's demand downtown.

"We want to master one thing, then we'll add stuff on," Taylor says.

Barbosa's Express will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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