Papa Gallo 

Brings New Take on Lynchburg’s La Carreta

Brings New Take on Lynchburg’s La Carreta

While Lynchburg locals may be quick to recognize city staple restaurant La Carreta, residents of central Virginia may not be as familiar with Papa Gallo, the newest offshoot of La Carreta located in River Ridge Mall. 

Started by co-owner Jesus Roberto Arellano, Papa Gallo aims to provide many of the same favorites as La Carreta, but with a slightly different presentation. Instead of a full menu found at a typical La Carreta restaurant, Papa Gallo chose to further perfect its commodities.

“We’re still La Carreta,” said Arellano. “We want to bring in the good that La Carreta has to offer—customer service, the great food. We tweaked a few things and added a few more and it’s turned out great.”

Even though Papa Gallo attempts to distinguish itself slightly from La Carreta, it remains close due to family ties. Part of the reason for this is the shared ownership, with Arellano’s father being one of the owners of La Carreta. Arellano’s cousin, Venessa Gomez, also plays a large role in the food and bar menu.

Photo by Ashlee Glen

“It’s very meticulous. A lot of thought has gone into every little thing that we have on our menu. We took no shortcuts,” Arellano said.

As diners enter the restaurant, they are quickly greeted with lively music and authentic Mexican decorations. In order to bring as much authenticity as possible to his new restaurant, Arellano said that he took several trips to Mexico and drew inspiration from eateries and cafes in Guadalajara, Mexico, resorts in the Riviera Maya, and from movies such as Disney’s Coco.

Due to the large number of different aspects at play in creating a restaurant, it may be easy to become overwhelmed or to make mistakes, but Arellano emphasized the importance of striving for perfection.

Photos by Ashlee Glen

“It wasn’t ‘go and get everything at once.’ It was literally ‘take your time and do things right,’” Arellano said. 

Customers can find out more about Papa Gallo by visiting the restaurant’s website ( as well as the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Arellano also owns Bandidos Tacos and Cantina, located in Farmville, Virginia.   

At a Glance:

Papa Gallo
Located in River Ridge Mall
3405 Candlers Mountain Road, Suite A-33, Lynchburg, VA 24502
(434) 219-5820 •

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