Its first Pennsylvania location will open Jan. 17 at the Grove, previously the Shops at Great Valley in Malvern. Your GPS will lead you to 30 Liberty Blvd., just off of Route 29 and Swedesford Road, next to the new Sly Fox Brewery, which soft-opens Jan. 17. (Another Bomba location is keyed up for summer in Newtown, Bucks County.)
Both restaurants, owned by a small group based in Cleveland, take a polished, suburban approach. Where Paladar is more of a destination, explains cofounder Andy Himmel, Bomba is “more of a neighborhood hangout — a little more simple and direct with a menu that’s primarily focused on tacos of all different flavors.” That is, the tacos are not strictly Mexican or even Latin (e.g. the Thai chicken and Vietnamese meatball). It’s family friendly.
The full bar is focused on rum, but the selection (24, some of them local) is smaller than Paladar’s 100-plus.
Bomba’s menu, more streamlined than Paladar’s, also includes bowls (over white rice or cauliflower rice), build-your-own guacamole, salads, and snacks such as bacon-wrapped jalapeños. There’s also a kid’s menu, a gluten-free menu, and a weekend brunch menu.
“There’s a lot of carryover in the menus,” Himmel says. In fact, there’s a lot of staff carryover, as well. Most of the original staff at Paladar remains — a fairly remarkable feat of retention in the restaurant business — and the new Bomba is being staffed largely out of King of Prussia.
Bomba will seat 64 in the dining room and 20 at the bar, and there’s an all-season room with fireplace that will accommodate 52 more. Forty-four outdoor seats will be available in season.
For the grand opening, Bomba partnered with Bringing Hope Home, a local nonprofit whose mission is to provide financial and emotional support to families affected by cancer, to host a fund-raising dinner.