While vodka and whiskey remain America’s favorite spirits, Tequila, and by extension Mezcal, have seen outstanding growth over the past year. But before you rush to order your usual shots of Patron, Don Julio, or Casa Amigos at BARCOA, you must know that celebrity and most “popular” tequila brands are not served at the downtown establishment.

Everything has been handmade by artisans from Guadalajara.

If you read the opening statement on their cocktail menu, you’ll find that virtually everything at the Agaveria has been handmade by artisans in Guadalajara where most Agave spirits are made. That authenticity is what sets BARCOA apart from other establishments and they keep that same mentality with all the spirts they offer on their menu.



Spearheaded by David Tyda, the founder of the Phoenix Pizza Festival and Arizona Taco Festival, and Ryan Oberholtzer of Provecho, the pair opened BARCOA in November 2021.

BARCOA is housed in a building built in 1928 that used to be a hardware store and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When thinking of what to name the establishment, Tyda chose to combine the word bar and also pay homage to the tools used by jimadores (tequila makers) by incorporating the ancient harvesting tool called “coa”. A coa is a long rounded edge knife on a long wooden handle used to chop off the leaves of the agave plant, leaving the core, or “pina”, ready for fermentation.


BARCOA is a two-level bar that is broken down into The Cantina and the main bar in the basement.

The Cantina on the ground floor is meant to be a casual spot for visitors. Here is where patrons can find classic cocktails such as Margaritas and Palomas, shots of Mezcal or Bacanora, and an assortment of bottled cervezas like the crisp and refreshing Indio. If you’re feeling adventurous, we recommend trying the Basura or the Batanga.

Before you head to the downstairs bar, make sure to hang out at the 1,000-square-feet outdoor patio located at the back of the building. Decorated with a bright pink wall, potted plants, and comfortable seating, the patio space is meant to recreate the courtyards and atmosphere that can be found in Mexico.


Once you make your way to the basement, you will find an elevated craft cocktail menu curated by Nicholas Fiorini, co-owner of BARCOA and owner of Sidecar Social club. As soon as you take your first step towards the downstairs bar you’ll immediately notice a contrast with The Cantina. Dim lighting and more sitdown areas make for a more formal atmosphere but you’ll get the same attentiveness and quality of agave spirits as the upstairs bar.

If you’ve never had a flight before you should definitely enjoy one at BARCOA.

Flights are similar to a wine tasting with small pours that allow you to savor and enjoy the unique flavor palette of the agave drink. BARCOA makes sure to stay true to Mexican tradition by serving the flights in “copitas” and cups made from Calabash gourds. BARCOA also has an agave room where customers can sign up for classes to learn more about the Mexican spirit.

When it comes to food, BARCOA does not sell food at its establishment but does partner up with local businesses such as Sabor A Mi, Lilis Taco Shop, and Random AF Kitchen if you’re feeling hungry after a few drinks.

BARCOA Agaveria
829 N. 1st Ave Phoenix, AZ 85003 https://barcoaphx.com
Tuesday – Thursday 4PM to 11PM Friday – Saturday 4PM to 1AM Sunday 11AM to 6PM

By Ramon Chavez