NEW ORLEANS – When Mark Latter of Latter Hospitality opened Claret Wine & Cocktail Bar in early 2019, his goal was to give locals in the Lower Garden District a place for great wines, cocktails and charcuterie. A year later, the restaurateur, who also owns Tujague’s and Birdy’s, opened The Bower – a neighborhood bistro in the same Framework Plaza on Magazine Street. Showcasing modern, flavorful cuisine utilizing fresh ingredients from partner farm, Sugar roots, The Bower has quickly become a destination for locals and visitors alike to enjoy sumptuous eats in a modern and relaxed setting. Fast forward another year, when the pandemic has changed the dining and drinking landscape in New Orleans, and Latter is once again adapting to cater to the needs of his clientele. The result? The Bower Bar – an adjacent extension of The Bower located at 1320 Magazine Street in the former Claret Wine Bar space.
Boasting 20 seats around the central bar and an additional 24 seats at surrounding tables, The Bower Bar is the perfect perch to gather with friends for cocktails, conversation, and bites. The reimagined Claret space has the same lush look and feel of The Bower, with living green walls and plants from locally-owned landscape architects, Luna Botanicals. Palettes of grey and marble accents add an element of sophistication, making the space feel like a swanky cocktail bar where polished service takes center stage. New signage, lighting and accents complete the look. Guests can also enjoy outdoor covered seating which is shared by Latter’s three spots, including Birdy’s.
The cocktail program at The Bower Bar is under the direction of Beverage Director Mickey Mullins and features field-to-glass libations focusing on the seasonal herbs, flowers and produce available at Sugar Roots Farm. Cocktails include 51 Problems – beet infused mezcal, passionfruit, lime, Suze, demerara and a smoked salt rim; LGD – reposado, hibiscus, orange flower, orgeat, and mole bitters; and the Hydrix – bourbon, mint-infused contratto, amaro, and aquafaba. Zero-proof drinks are also on offer featuring the Sugar Roots Spritz with house made hibiscus syrup, lime and soda and Pear-Ly There – spiced pear puree and tonic. Wines are equally impressive and include small production vintners, as well as widely-known global collections.
Guests at The Bower Bar can enjoy the same culinary creations found next door at The Bower, along with the famed “boards” that made Claret a go-to destination for cheese and charcuterie. Executive Chef Marcus Woodham focuses on fresh seasonal ingredients, housemade pastas, and sustainably-sourced seafood. Small plates, perfect for nibbling alongside a cocktail, include Charred Broccoli Salad with smokey chickpeas, pickled shallots, blood orange, and bacon chili crisp; Fried Calamari with pickled sweet peppers, lime, smoked sea salt and guajillo chili sauce; and Crispy Cauliflower with napa cabbage, sweet garlic chili oil, sesame seeds, cilantro, and green onions. Pastas, made fresh in-house include Pappardelle Bolognese with pork, beef, Parmigiano, aged balsamic and a truffle cultured cream, Basil Spaghetti, and more. Large Plates feature a 12-ounce Prime New York Strip with new potato and sweet potato dauphinoise, leeks, Cabrales blue cheese, NOLA bordelaise, Maggie’s Mushrooms and garlic; and Gulf Fish with carrots, marinated squash, celery root puree, pistachio, satsuma, and brown butter sauce.
Happy Hour at The Bower Bar, which takes place Monday – Saturday from 4PM to 6PM, is certain to tantalize with $8 signature cocktails and daily House Punch; $7 house wine-by-the-glass; and $4 beer. Food offerings include discounted ($6-12) charcuterie plates, cheese plates, cacio e pepe, crispy cauliflower, whipped feta and warm Castelvetrano olives.
The Bower Bar is located at 1320 Magazine Street next door to sister restaurant, The Bower. The Bower Bar is open Monday – Thursday 4PM – 9PM; Friday and Saturday 4PM – 11PM (kitchen closes at 10PM. additional information, please visit www.thebowernola.com or call (504) 582-9738.