barbata, European-Inspired Basement Bar in Downtown Tucson’s BATA, Now Open
Fresh on the heels of its landing on Bon Appetit Magazine’s list of the nation’s top 50 new restaurants of 2022, BATA announced that its basement bar is now open as ‘barbata’, a 1,000 square-foot sanctuary for sipping and snacking in downtown Tucson.
Chef Tyler Fenton says barbata was designed to complement the restaurant experience on the first floor of the reimagined 1930s historic warehouse, drawing inspiration from what he calls “the European drinking culture, which is fun and casual, but with a focus on high-quality and approachable food and beverages.”
“Much like the beloved bars of Spain and Italy, barabata will be the perfect place to both start and end an evening,” said Fenton, BATA’s co-owner and executive chef, “and we’ve created an atmosphere that is a warm, intimate, and approachable extension of the restaurant upstairs.”
The spirits and cocktail offering includes a curated selection of vermouths, sherries, amari, and other apertivos and digestivos, along with nine signature cocktails including the Mixed Smoked Kitt Peak Old Fashioned, with small batch bourbon, single hive honey, bitter, and smoke, and the Olive Oil Bigelow Martini, with olive oil-washed California gin, navy strength gin, dry sherry, and vermouth. Four beers, nine wines by the glass, four wines by the bottle, and a cider will also be available.
The cuisine at barbata is snack-centric and intentionally designed to pair with drinks. The nine small plates range from a Spanish tortilla with aioli, to Cantabrian anchovies with extra virgin olive oil and lemon, to beef tartare with burned bread aioli, mustard greens, and toasted potato breadcrumbs. Additional offerings of jamon serrano and mortadella, sliced to order, will be available by the ounce. Basque cheesecake and a cream puff with embered cream will provide the perfect confectionary nightcap.
Working with craftsmen from Midtown Artisans, Fenton chose rich maple and oak woods throughout barbata’s interior, which tend towards blonde, offering a bit of brightness to contrast the board formed concrete throughout the basement. These lighter woods and colors offer a counterpoint to the somewhat heavier woods, with walnut and oak hues, of the restaurant upstairs. These themes tie the two floors together while keeping them intentionally separate and distinct.
barbata will accommodate 45 guests, with seating for 25 and standing room for 20. Initial hours of operation will be Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4:30 – 9:30 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30 – 10:30 pm.
In addition to BATA and barbata, Fenton also owns and operates Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink with his sister, Courtney, and brother, Zach. Reilly has locations at 101 E. Pennington Street and 7262 N. Oracle Road.
For additional information, and to see the full barbata menu, visit www.BataTucson.com.