TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Over on the west side in Barrio Hollywood, you won't find just a typical cup of joe. Barista Del Barrio is a breakfast spot that's keeping spirits charged with more than caffeine.
"I like the sausage burrito. I usually get mine with no beans," said Michelle McAlpin. "Hold the beans but not the love. I truly love this place. I've been coming here for a year and half at least now."
McAlpin is a regular at Barista Del Barrio.
"Ariana, who is usually at the window, tries to get to know everybody here and to make us feel welcome," McAlpin said.
It's a family affair.
"They bring their pets. They can come in pajamas. I love that. When I saw a guy in his robe. I love that, I told him. That's me," laughed Flavia Briones, owner of Barista Del Barrio. No matter what part of town you're coming from, Briones says come as you are.
"That's what I wanted. I want people to be comfortable. Come however you want."
That's what she had in mind back in 2017, when Briones and her two kids, Ariana and Sergio, took a chance on a big dream.
"I was terrified but I'd always wanted to do it. So, I'm just going to do it and see what happens," Briones added.
This single mom of two took a big risk and it's paying off in Barrio Hollywood. Even with a pandemic thrown into the plans.
"For last year, they were on of Yelps 100 Places You Must Eat and so, they've been able to survive right through the pandemic," McAlpin said.
"We struggled getting supplies. It was really hard because they put a limit of two milks, even if you're a restaurant," Briones said.
But she says they are making it through the struggles thanks to the community.
"Because of everyone's support, it's ok we're doing well."
Folks say they keep coming back for a number of reasons - like the food.
"We have vegan hemp tamales. We have breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, bagels," said Briones.
"This is the place to get your breakfast burritos because they're wonderful and they're really reasonably priced," said McAlpin.
And the drinks with a Mexican twist.
"Horchata and espresso, horchata and cold brew, and the barrio cold brew, which is cold brew with half and half and horchata," said Briones.
But most importantly, customers like McAlpin say they stop by for breakfast because it feels like home.
"It's one of those local places that make a neighborhood worth living in," said McAlpin.
Whether the sun is shining or even in the rain. "They're just amazing. Tucson is amazing," Briones said.
Briones hopes to host events this year. There is one set for April. For more information on that event, click here.