Chef Javier Bardauil, known for his innovative cuisine at the popular BARDA restaurant in Detroit, has exciting news for food lovers—he’s opening a new restaurant and bar, PUMA, in Core City. Set to open in November, Bardauil will draw inspiration from his Argentinian roots and incorporate a range of unique culinary techniques and flavors to create a homegrown dining experience for guests.
The restaurant’s decor and ambiance are also built around Argentinian culture, with nods to the country’s vibrant music, art, and architecture. The menu will feature a range of dishes, including some of the chef’s signature creations, as well as new and exciting offerings that showcase the flavors and ingredients of Argentina.
“I’m bringing South American culture to Detroit; I think showcasing the diversity of cuisine across the continent is important. I’m excited to share some delicious dishes with my friends, like the Bolivian empanada Boliviana, Peruvian ceviches, and some Mexican specialties. Each dish has a unique flavor and history that I hope to convey through my cooking.”
PUMA aims to offer a unique dining experience that reflects the chef’s passion for culinary excellence and desire to share his cultural heritage with the people of Michigan. With its innovative menu, inviting ambiance, and warm hospitality, PUMA is poised to become a must-visit destination for foodies and culture enthusiasts.
The restaurant and bar interior is designed to reflect the smooth and sleek nature of the big cat, with an all-black color scheme that creates a modern and sophisticated ambiance. Chef Javier Bardauil transitioned from BARDA’s upscale, high-end vibe, to contrast with PUMA’s more relaxed and youthful atmosphere, even jokingly calling the late-night bar option Cougar.
At PUMA, customers can gather around the fire with cocktails and chóripan – a traditional Argentinian sausage sandwich – just as Bardauil did in his youth. Bardauil’s has a more approachable menu that features a variety of dishes that are easy to eat and handle with one’s hands. Late-night service will also accommodate those who want to enjoy a meal after a night out.
“Most of the late-night food options in Detroit are coney islands after hours; nothing is wrong with that. For something different, you can come to PUMA to fill your belly with tasty food like Choripán, crunchy bread, grilled meat, and bold flavors, which is a perfect way to end a night out.”
Bardauil is no stranger to the culinary world. He started his journey as a chef at 23, honing his skills at the Argentine Gastronomy Institute and Lenôtre School in Paris. He has worked at prestigious establishments such as Francis Mallmann’s Patagonia Sur Restaurant in Buenos Aires, including Michigan’s various projects and openings for renowned Argentinian Chef Pablo Massey. Bardauil’s culinary excellence was recognized at the 2022 James Beard Foundation Awards, where he was a finalist for the “Best New Restaurant in America” award for his work at BARDA.
4725 16th Street just west of Grand River Ave., Detroit, MI 48208
Hours: Thursday 5pm-10pm, Friday-Sunday 5pm-2am