The development at Merino Mill continues with a new restaurant concept.
Merino Mill, located at 500 S. Main St. in Mooresville, has progressively transformed into a hub for food enthusiasts from the lake and beyond. In addition to the infamous Alino Pizzeria, the space now includes Barcelona Burger Bar & Beer Garden. Both concepts are owned by the visionary Michal Bay, who has been working on renovating the 1.1 million-square-foot textile mill back to its full potential.
The atmosphere mimics an open air Mediterranean bazaar, with large communal tables that encourage guests to socialize and converse with one another while enjoying their meals. Upon entering the restaurant, customers are greeted with an extensive carryout market that houses an array of charcuterie, dry pasta, olive oil, vinegar, international beer, and many other hidden treasures. Bottles of wine are sprinkled throughout the shop, giving visitors the convenience to purchase and drink in-house or to take home. Barcelona’s entire menu is also available for takeout.
Bay partnered with Davidson-based cookbook author and TV personality Jenny Brulé to create an epic selection of prime Angus beef burgers, rotisserie chicken, and fresh salads, along with a healthy twist of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Brulé explains: “The menu is not just for beef eaters—it’s important for us to offer something for everyone, healthy or decadent.” The Famous Veggie Burger was fashioned with Brule’s two vegetarian daughters in mind, who also work at the swanky eatery. Barcelona’s handmade black bean, quinoa, and walnut patty is served on a whole-wheat bun that’s piled high with melted cheese, onions, roasted tomatoes, lettuce, and then drizzled with house sauce.
Since being unveiled to the public in late May, Barcelona’s burger buzz has locals swarming through their doors the minute they open. More often than not there is a steady stream of eager customers swooping around the outer edge of the building. This line is bustling and vibrant, with breathless fans declaring their profound love for locally sourced, grass-fed beef burgers that are not too big, not too small, and served on a perfectly-sized potato bun for soaking up the juices just right. Given their instant popularity, this eclectic burger bar has quickly become a mainstay in Mooresville, serving over 1,000 guests on a daily basis. Barcelona’s fully exposed kitchen is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., grilling up to 600 freshly made burgers and roasting 160 chickens that are marinated overnight in their homemade spice mix.
Bay’s philosophy: “Food is a memory everyone should be able to afford.” Therefore, patrons can expect to get a delicious feast that’s made with high quality ingredients for under $10 per person. “It’s never about cost, it’s about exceptional food in a family-friendly environment,” says Bay. Each entrée comes with the choice of one side dish from a hefty menu that includes two types of fries, onion rings, baked mac and cheese, flavorful Spanish chicken soup, roasted vegetables, side salads, and the southern staple: fried pickles.
Attention, beer lovers: hold onto your hops. Barcelona serves 20 craft brews on tap for only $5 per pint, including multiple varieties from Charlotte-based breweries. Not a beer fan? Not a problem. Fancier boozy preferences like wine by the glass, sangria, and cider are also available for purchase.
Photos by LunahZon Photography