On the backside of the market inside a small, unassuming blue door is one of our favorite watering holes. Owner and creator, Bryan Jarr, opened JarrBar a Spanish/Portuguese inspired cocktail bar, in November 2015. We went the first time to try the infamous Iberico ham, and we kept coming back for the good company and delicious drinks. Now that the sun is shining more days than not, we make sure to grab a seat by the windows, which are thrown open to let in the sun and fresh air. When you sit in those wicker chairs, sipping a glass of Iberian wine in the sun, and popping olives in your mouth you can feel yourself transported to the Mediterranean.
The bar has a great Happy Hour from 4:00 - 6:00 PM, 10:00 PM - 2:00 AM, and all day Sunday (see the HH menu here). They also host Sunday Night Cinema every week where you can come and enjoy a film on their giant projection screen (they do accept movie requests, but no promises!).
As for their specialties, JarrBar is a great place to find a large selection of sherries and vermouths, as well as a large wine list from Spain and Portugal. Their cocktail list was hand crafted by the amazing Jesse Spring and features our personal favorites, the El Cochino and Westside.
Meet the Maker: Bryan Jarr of JarrBar
What inspired JarrBar?
I did a research trip to Portugal and Spain where I researched ways they dealt with preserved seafood. While traveling I fell in love with the small, intimate neighborhood bars there. You'd get a plate of anchovies, a glass of wine, and watch soccer. It was perfect any day, any time.
What is a little known fact about the bar?
This is one of the only places in Seattle serving Iberico Bellota, a gourmet cured ham from the Iberico black pig in Spain. The special organic diet of the pig creates this great buttery, sweet flavor you can't get with any other meat.
There is also a typo on the clock in the bar. My wife ordered it as a gift and spelled bar with an extra "r," so it reads JarrBarr.
What is your favorite thing on the menu?
Food? I always find myself going back to the organic piquillos with oil-cured anchovies. The oil cured anchovies in Spain are a real delicacy. You get a nice salty flavor with the sweetness of the pepper, which is delicious.
Drink? This time of year I really love the Txakoli wines. It is great with seafood. I have this rosé that is a little bubbly and perfect on a warm day. It reminds you of being on vacation.
Some might label you a foodie, what are your favorite places to eat in Seattle right now?
I like Sushi Kappo Tamura. Anything there is incredibly good. The sushi is great, the entree dishes are amazing. Babirusa and Blind Pig are owned by the same person, and their food is a great value. Stateside in Capitol Hill is a cool space with great cocktails, and their dishes have amazing flavor. Manolin is awesome; amazing seafood there.
Basically, I want to go to a place that is welcoming, and I like going to a place that will have food I'm not going to cook at home.
What do you do when you aren't running the bar?
I go out to eat a lot with my wife. Currently, I am doing a lot of planning on my new spot in Pike Place Market.
That leads us to our last question: What's next for you?
The plan is to open a place in the new Marketfront Building in the Pike Place Market expansion. It is going to be a restaurant, bar, retail, and food production venue, all in one spot. We are going to use artisan methods for preserving seafood, so canning, smoking, and preserving on sight. The name is still TBD, but it will be opening Summer 2017.