There is another Barlow in town, not to be confused with Barlow Tavern. This is Barlow Artisanal Bar, located at 737 SW Salmon St.right next to the very stylish and already loved by me Picnic House that I have written about several times before.
I have been peeking at the space under construction for months. I was drawn especially in when the beautiful chandelier in the back got installed over the larger group table.
With 5 taps and a dozen exquisite options on their cocktail menu, this classy bar is a welcome addition to this area. In walking distance are several hotels and museums such as the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Museum. And Barlow is just blocks from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall to kick off or wrap up a sophisticated date night.
Once you have stepped inside, you feel like you’ve stepped into a glamorous art deco bar. There is a long L shaped bar in the front, then small cocktail tables to lounge and drink as you are heading towards the back.
After walking past the stunning lit Barlow sign across from their other stairway, the back wall of an alluring flapper girl welcomes you. The back opens up slightly for a few small tables including a larger group table. Restrooms are separated off by the hanging silver beaded curtains.
I stopped by “accidentally” when they were still doing their soft opening where it was bustling during their early happy hour 3-6pm. They also have a late happy hour 10pm-close. On later visits on a few other weekday evenings after happy hour, it had noticeably mellowed out. This yielded that some of these photos that look like it was almost empty, but let me assure you I was not the only one there each visit.
As if this all wasn’t already so cool enough, when they need a chilled martini glass, it is very dramatic with dry ice.
Some cocktails of Barlow Artisanal Bar
- Clover Club with gin, lemon, creme yvette, maraschino luxardo, raspberry simple, egg white
- The Knickerbocker with 8 year rum, 10 k rum, orange liqueur, lemon, raspberry pineapple simple, demerara simple, and all served over shaved ice with a silver straw to give it a tiki twist. I found the ice in mine to be really too large where I was trying to punch through the ice to get to my drink, but it was probably a one off mistake.
- Rattlesnake with rittenhouse rye, lemon, egg white, gomme syrup, fernet braca, and ginger liqueur. My favorite of the two egg white drinks.
- Blood and Beach Sand cocktail with scotch whisky, cherry heering, sweet vermouth, and pineapple
- Cocktail of the Sidecar Au Poire with brandy, lemon, pear liqueur. This was one of my personal favorites.
- I also loved their cocktail Derby with bonded bourbon, lime, orange liquor, sweet vermouth, and cardamom. They use a special round ice for this drink. Usually there is a sprinkle of cardamom on top but they were out during my visit.
- An Open Drink the bartender made for me and the reason you should try to sit at the bar if you can
- Pours of beer
- From the dessert menu, finish with something sweet such as the MonMarte Float with root beer, absinthe, and creme anglaise or the Jamaican Coffee with dark rum, coffee liqueor, sherry, demerara simple, and cream
The food at Barlow are just small plates meant to accompany your cocktail as a snack – don’t expect to eat a full meal here.
- Cheese and Charcuterie selection of the chef from a happy hour, $8, included 2 cheeses, a pate, and warm pretzel bread
- Also from Happy Hour, the Caramelized Onion Dip is $6 and comes with potato chips and crudite
- Lobster Roll with roasted lobster, celery tarragon, chives, aioli, and lemon served on a primo roll with chips. During one of my more recent visits this was off the menu already, so maybe it was just a brief seasonal item. It was probably the most substantial dish there.
- Leave off the carbs and go directly to meat with these Lamb Lollipops that are seared and served with housemade mint jelly
- My favorite of what I tasted was Barlow Artisanal Bar’s take on a classic Russian dish, a Vegetable and Lardon Terrine with potatoes, beets, carrots, egg, lardons, chives, aioli vinaigrette. As delicious as it looks.
They plan to change up their food and cocktails seasonally, so I’m expecting that there may be an update soon from what I’ve shared. They have only been open a month and still under everyone’s radar so I wanted to share this discovery with you!