Jeffrey F. Carcara was named CEO of Barteca Restaurant Group, the parent company of Barcelona Wine Bar and bartaco Restaurants, effective immediately. He succeeds the company’s founder, Andy Pforzheimer, who remains in the role of chairman. The Norwalk, Connecticut-based Barteca currently has restaurants in operation or under construction in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
The handover has been a measured transition, taking place over the past year, as Carcara worked alongside Pforzheimer and Barteca co-founder Sasa Mahr-Bautz, who is remaining in his role as chief creative officer.
“I have been working in the restaurant industry for 38 years and had a strong desire to step back, but there wasn’t a way to do that without having the right person to take over,” Pforzheimer explains. “Barcelona, and later bartaco, have always been ‘works in progress’ to me. They need to keep changing and evolving or we all— customers, managers, employees—get bored. Jeff has the energy and imagination to keep this grand experiment interesting, and the experience to manage a company that has grown so quickly. I feel very lucky.”
Carcara, 46, joined Barteca in 2015 bringing with him more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry. He started his career at Hillstone Restaurant Group and after a significant tenure went on to join Seasons 52. At Seasons 52, Carcara held several executive positions including Senior Director of Operations and was integral in growing the brand from one restaurant to more than 30 across the country. Before assuming his role as CEO of Barteca, Carcara was the COO of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group.
“I don’t think there’s any better job in the restaurant business. Barteca has some of the best concepts in the industry, and one of the strongest teams,” says Carcara. “The chance to work with Andy and Sasa for the last year has been a great learning experience, and a highlight of my career. I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity.”
Carcara is a native of Chicago and currently divides his time between Connecticut and Dallas.