Down on Western Avenue, a sliver of a storage space in the shadow of the Hillclimb will soon become a great little bar, a low-key spot modeled after the tabernas of Spain and Portugal.
As the name implies, JarrBar is the creation of one Bryan Jarr, who ran Madison Park Conservatory (and before that Tako Truk) with then-partner Cormac Mahoney. After MPC closed in early 2014, Jarr began hatching plans for a sort of everyday bar where cocktails cost in the single digits and a few bites and a few drinks isn't a major event.
The space is 470 square feet, with no real kitchen, so the menu of cold salads, preserved seafood, and jamon and Spanish cheeses all gets prepped ahead of time. One of the handful of beer taps will always pour Estrella, and Spain will play a leading role on the wine list. Cocktails will rely heavily on infusions (great, but not expensive) and yes, there will be sangria.
Jarr has just begun working on the space at 1432 Western Ave, which boasts narrow walls, high ceilings, and a century-old patina that definitely supports the European vibe...even more so when the walls get whitewashed and the butcher block bartop, spare shelves, and mix of mismatched mirrors arrive. He's enlisting two of his original MPC cohorts, opening bar manager Maggie Savarino and chef Zoi Antonitas, who's now at Westward, to advise on the cocktail list and the menu.
If there's a major event, say a prominent soccer match, the projector TV will come down from its hiding place but otherwise you'd never know there was a TV here. Down the road, JarrBar might get bigger; Jarr is going through the process of securing a space in Pike Place Market's new MarketFront expansion. Remember those rumors of a Spanish-style restaurant?
Jarr's not exactly a newcomer to Pike Place Market; he co-wrote the Pike Place fish guys' cookbook and organized a series of sustainable seafood dinners in the market atrium.
When JarrBar is complete (likely at the end of September) it will open at 4pm Tuesdays through Sundays. Jarr wants to stay open late and be a gathering place for industry folks.