Bar Ferdinand Brings Spanish Flair To NoLibs

Bar Ferdinand
Owen Kamihira is stepping beyond designing bars and restaurants and is opening his own spot. Opening this month Bar Ferdinand will feature Spanish tapas at 1030 N 2nd Street in Liberties Walk. Designed to be an affordable, casual neighborhood spot offering guests traditional tapas prepared at the bar, an all-Spanish wine list and an atmosphere with vibrant, floor-to-ceiling mosaic murals and other hand-crafted details.

“For years I’ve been working on restaurant designs for my clients, and now I am creating my own vision, a neighborhood spot serving Spanish bar food and drink,” says Kamihira of his new restaurant that he and several area artists constructed, largely by hand.

Like the traditional tapas bars in Spain, Bar Ferdinand will feature a chef stationed at the bar preparing a daily selection of hot and cold small plate specialties. To create an authentic Spanish menu, Kamihira hired Blake Joffe, a classically trained chef who apprenticed with Chef Pedro Subijana at the Michelin two-star Akellare restaurant and La Cuchara de San Telmo, a tapas bar, both in San Sebastian, Spain. Upon returning to the United States, Joffe worked in kitchens at Alma de Cuba, El Vez and Continental Restaurant & Martini Bar.

Joffe’s menu, which will range in price from $3 to $9, features an exciting array of small dishes, including: Almejas en Caldo de Azafran, steamed cockles, fennel salad and saffron broth; Flan de Congrejo y Esparragus, savory crab and white asparagus flan; Sandia Camado, charred watermelon, Serrano ham, tarragon; Pixin con Panceta Pinchos, monkfish, pork belly and rosemary, marinated, skewered and seared; Cerdo Frito con Mustaza y Mahon, slowly fried pork, Mahon cheese, mustard, roasted peppers and onions; and Brandada de Trucha Relleno, smoked trout, potato, chive, piquillo peppers and shallots.

A long wrap-around bar with imported tiles set in a Moorish pattern and topped with deep-red slabs of scagliola, a man-made compound that simulates marble will provide seating for up to 20 guests. Behind the bar more than 50 bottles of choice Spanish varietals will be on view in a large wine display that Kamihira designed and fabricated. Bar Ferdinand will regularly offer more than 25 wines by the glass.

An extensive beer list with more than 35 selections will feature a rotating assortment of 10 beers on tap, local and craft brews and Spanish imports including Alhambra, a premium lager from Spain, exclusive to Bar Ferdinand. The bar will regularly feature a special $1 draft beer and a $2 wine of the week.

For guests who prefer a more formal meal, Bar Ferdinand will offer an equally magnificent dining room with a gorgeous antique gold leaf vaulted ceiling. Overhead a 4-foot, round iron chandelier, lit entirely with candles, will cast a mellow glow over the room. The walls will be covered with ornate mosaic murals created by Joe Brenman and inspired by celebrated matador Manolete and other legendary bullfighters. Weather permitting, Bar Ferdinand will also offer an off-street outdoor cafe along Liberties Walk for up to 50 guests.

Bar Ferdinand [Official Site]