Biography
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Where It All Began

After a career in customer service, John (Juan) Zaragoza decided he wanted to bring a bit of his hometown La Barca to Chicago. In 2007, he sold his house and rented out a five-table storefront in Archer Heights and opened for business as a restaurant.

Brian Almalvez

John (Juan) Zaragoza

John is the founder of Birrieria Zaragoza.  In 2002, his love for birria motivated him to drop everything and travel to his birthplace in La Barca, Jalisco, Mexico for the purpose of learning how to make the birria he currently serves at Birrieria Zaragoza.

In 2007, he and his family officially opened Birrieria Zaragoza, which is coming up on it’s 14th year anniversary on October 12, 2021.

Jim Newberry

Norma Zaragoza

Norma is the matriarch the Zaragoza Family and of Birrieria Zaragoza.  Norma is responsible for purchasing, inventory, and makes certain that pricing is negotiated. Her focus is controlling operational costs and identifying ways to cut waste.

Prior to opening the Birrieria with her husband John and family, she spent 28 years working downtown for a few corporate companies, the most recent being for Tribune Co.

Carolina Rodriguez

Jim Newberry

Jonathan Zaragoza

Jonathan Zaragoza is the Executive Chef of Birrieria Zaragoza.  Previously, he served as Executive Chef at Masa Azul.  At the young age of 23, ZAGAT selected him as one of the “30 Chefs Under 30 Chicago” list.  His culinary creativity has led him to do international collaborations in the US, Mexico, London and Dubai. He is a culinary consultant for The Coca-Cola Company, Peapod, and previously for Kraft Foods and Jim Beam. Most recently, he was a winner of StarChefs’ “Rising Star Award”.

© 2021 by Charlie Kim. Photos by Brian Almalvez.

4852 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60632. Tel (773) 523-3700