After shuttering the much-loved Madison Park Conservatory in 2014, co-owner Bryan Jarr took off on a food research expedition through Spain and Portugal.
Jarr, who is co-author of In the Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys, went to study traditional seafood preservation at several Spanish and Portuguese canneries. Along the way, he fell in love with the plethora of intimate neighborhood bars where Cava and cold beer are served alongside pintxos, or small bar bites.
Jarr has re-created that Iberian Peninsula experience with Jarr Bar, a 470-square-foot space on Western Avenue in lower Pike Place Market, a few doors up from The Spanish Table. Inside the tiny bar is seating for 21 people at maple tables with navy and white chairs. Mirrors framed in shades of blue cover the walls, and old Mason jars twinkle with lights. Jarr Bar has a real sense of place; it’s perfect for tucking into a glass of wine (almost exclusively from the Iberian Peninsula) and a nibble from the menu, which was curated by Jarr’s close friend Zoi Antonitsas, former chef de cuisine at Madison Park Conservatory.
You’ll want at least one imported, hand-packed tin of sardines or Galician cockles (a saltwater bivalve) served opened with a shot of tomato juice ($7–$17). Jars of marinated olives and house pickles ($2–$23) make lovely accompaniments to the bigger plates ($11–$17). Go for the cured Spanish meats ($8/$14) and tuna-stuffed piquillo peppers drizzled with oil and vinegar ($12). With new residents like Jarr Bar, Shiro Kashiba’s Sushi Kashiba and Cheng Biao Yang’s Country Dough, the Pike Place Market area feels less like a tourist trap and more like a local foodie’s oasis again.
Pike Place, 1432 Western Ave.; 206.209.2239; jarrbar.com