Tapasitas, the new restaurant and bar in the old Bar Mirabeau space, is celebrating its grand opening tonight. The "global tapas" restaurant has been quietly open for the past six weeks, in a space largely unchanged from its Bar Mirabeau. New owners Tom and Tori Tinnon say that they are not a relaunch of Bar Mirabeau, however, but an entirely new venture. Chef Parind Vora is still a partner in the new restaurant, but he has given the team there "complete creative control" so he can focus on Restaurant Jezebel. Eater spoke recently with Tapasita's new Executive Chef Jessica Wagnon and Bar Manager Jeff Boley about their vision for Tapasitas and the evolving West Sixth dining scene.
Wagnon, who has previously worked with Parind Vora's as a sous chef, says she's inspired to create a "relaxed space" with elevated cuisine. "The menu takes inspiration from from traditional Spanish tapas, but I make it my own." The kitchen has a significant focus on using "fresh" ingredients, which she says is "different than Bar Mirabeau." There is a separate pastry department, and all bread is made in-house.
Boley says the craft-focused bar program is playing surprisingly well on a street known for its party scene. "I was worried when I developed the program that it would be too heavy for this end of street. But our best selling drinks are not just vodka soda. We're turning vodka drinkers on to classics." Bartenders like Brian Dressel of the Midnight Cowboy and Jenn Keyser of The Highball are "moonlighting" behind the bar with Boley.
Both Wagnon and Boley are enthusiastic about the possibilities of Tapasitas. With a seating capacity of 280 and a standing capacity "much higher," both aim to make Tapasitas a prime event destination. Boley says they're looking to serve the growing population of downtown condo dwellers, "not just people driving in for J. Black's."
· Tapasitas [Official]
· All Tapasitas Tapas & Bar Coverage [EATX]
· All Bar Mirabeau Coverage [EATX]