The first American location of Barcelona's Teleféric is poised to open in the heart of Walnut Creek, offering Spanish cuisine and a polished interior. Owner Xavi Padrosa has imported the food and ambiance of his family's restaurant in Northern Spain, with a Bay Area focus. The family's original restaurant, Rondes, opened 22 years ago in the town of Sant Cugat (a small town in North Barcelona), which garnered the nickname "teleféric" in reference to a toy gondola located above the entrance.
The Walnut Creek location is a follow-up to the second Barcelona location that Padrosa opened four years ago, and will include some of the restaurant's signature dishes, like the "Ma Premier Foie," foie gras with grilled apple, caramelized onion and cherry jam. The focus will still be on tapas, which are served on dim sum-style carts that will roll throughout the restaurant, alongside larger plates for sharing, like paellas. Cocktails are from Dos Ojos Hospitality (Calavera, Coqueta) and will skew Spanish, offering inventive gin and tonics like the Spanish Merchant Gin Tonic featuring juniper, orange, pimento and nasturtiums. Wines will naturally include a heavy Spanish selection, in addition to Northern California producers.
As for the space, it's a gleaming new addition to a polished section of Walnut Creek. Designed by Oakland-based Arcsine, the space is decked out in lively, warm colors and patterned Spanish tile. An open kitchen lends itself to the bustling vibe throughout the restaurant, which Arcsine's Adam Winig says was designed with the Padrosa family's other restaurants in mind, as well as the new connection between Barcelona and the Bay Area. "First and foremost, the space needed to express the warmth and acceptance with which this family operates their business," said Winig. The dining room is designed to hold 110 guests, as well as tapas carts, a feature that the firm took into account in their design. There is also a chef's counter, bar, private dining room and outdoor patio that is destined to be packed on warm East Bay nights. In addition to classic Spanish elements, local materials were used to make a connection to Walnut Creek, including a wooden walnut bar top.
Teleféric Barcelona opens Sunday, January 17. They'll be open seven days a week for dinner until 11 p.m., expanding to lunch and weekend brunch ("Brunchelona") in the coming weeks.