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Updated: Barbacoa founder Robert Castoro died of accident at home

The one-time owner of Barbacoa Restaurant in Boise is dead.

KIVI confirmed with the Ada County Coroner and Boise Police that Castoro died at a hospital Friday. Ada Co. dispatch records showed paramedics responded to Castoro’s home after 10am Friday.

KIVI said suffered an unspecified accident in his home, and died at a Boise hospital from traumatic head injuries. Castoro was 53.

Police said no one else was in the home when Castoro died, and home security video saw how the injury happened and verified there wasn’t a crime involved.

Castoro no longer owns the restaurant according to filings with the Idaho Secretary of State. In 2015, his Bella Fortuna Investment Group handed over the business to another entity, LDC Investment Group. LDC is controlled by Lea Diane Castoro.

Robert and Martine Castoro opened the first Barbacoa restaurant in 2005 on the ParkCenter Pond in SE Boise. That building burned down in a fire on New Year’s Day in 2010.

A new, larger restaurant opened in the same location a year later. Known for its extensive art collection and upscale menu, Barbacoa is one of the state’s top sellers of liquor.

In 2015, shortly after transferring control of Barbacoa, Castoro pleaded not guilty to charges of felony domestic battery with traumatic injury and possession of a controlled substance. A jury found him not guilty on the domestic battery charge but convicted him on the drug-related count.

Correction: corrects characterization of the 2015 court charges.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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