chairman & founder
Andy Pforzheimer is the co-founder and of Barteca Restaurant Group, overseeing overall growth and execution of the group’s two concepts, Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant and bartaco.
A restaurant professional for over three decades, Pforzheimer initially became interested in the industry after taking time off from attending Harvard University to live in France, serving a classic two-year apprenticeship in Burgundy. Upon returning to the U.S., he worked in kitchens across America under numerous notable chefs throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Jeremiah Tower at Stars (San Francisco, CA); for Anne Rosenzweig at both Arcadia and the “21” Club (New York, NY); and for Patrick Healy at Colette (Los Angeles, CA). He eventually moved to Connecticut, moving out the kitchen but still keeping a foot in the food world by serving as the original food editor for Martha Stewart Living magazine.
Pforzheimer eventually started his own catering and consulting business, which is how he met his Barteca partner, Sasa Mahr-Batuz, who presented him with the idea of opening a tapas restaurant. The two opened the first Barcelona Wine Bar location in 1996, featuring seasonally-inspired tapas using the finest ingredients from local markets, and specialties from Spain and the Mediterranean. In 2010, Pforzheimer and Mahr-Batuz started a new taqueria concept, bartaco, which serves upscale street food with a coastal beach vibe. Both Barcelona and bartaco have expanded considerably within a decade, with multiple locations across Connecticut, New York, Georgia, the DC area, and Florida, with plans for additional expansion.