Bar Louise, a new Porteno Group tapas and wine bar in the former Marie-Louise Salon in Enmore Road

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Once you’ve got your hands on a space like the former Marie Louise Salon on Enmore Road, you don’t want to let go. So when Stanbuli, the gorgeous Turkish bar and restaurant space run by Ibrahim Kasif, Joe Valore and Elvis Abrahanowicz for more than six years closed in April, Valore and Abrahanowicz, and their longtime business partner in the band Porteno, Ben Milgate, have decided to hold on to this. The trio – collectively behind other Sydney hotspots Porteno, Wyno x Bodega, Bastardo and Humble Bakery – have turned it into a chic Spanish-inspired tapas and wine bar, Bar Louise.

The restaurant’s new name is a nod to Salon Marie-Louise, which was run by two lotto winning siblings. Its kitsch pink and purple 1950s facade remains, and Abrahanowicz says there was no intention of touching it. Instead, most of the refresh happened on the inside.

The design was handled by co-owner and style specialist Sarah Doyle. She brightened up the space with a new color palette mixing terracotta tiles with mustard yellow paint on the ground floor and rusty red walls upstairs. Meanwhile, bulbous mid-century pendant lighting hangs from the ceiling, bringing it in line with the classic look and feel of the group’s other venues.

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Leading the new kitchen is Marcelo Munoz (Porteno, Bastardo and more recently Continental Deli CBD, which is also owned by Valore and Abrahanowicz). Unlike the group’s other tapas spot, Wyno x Bodega, which is influenced by Latin cuisines, Bar Louise will be more focused on European flavors. “[It’s] a little more traditional, where we will bring together all the influences of the Mediterranean”, says Abrahanowicz Large format.

The produce-focused menu is divided into three simple categories – vegetables, seafood and meat – and diners can expect it to change often. Among the dishes diners can expect to find are homemade chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage) with peas and fried eggs, and txistorra (thin pork and beef sausage). There are also charcoal-grilled vegetables, beefsteak tomatoes with anchovy mayonnaise, braised cuttlefish in ink and octopus with smoked paprika.

The homemade and canned snacks that are staples at Porteno and Continental Deli are also on the menu at Bar Louise – think Olasagasti and Nardin anchovies, jamon serrano and gildas (skewers of marinated anchovies, olives and peppers) .

To match the food menu‘s European flair, Michael “Mikey” Nicolian (co-owner of Continental Deli) helped the crew put together an extensive wine list that explores grape varieties native to Spain, Italy and France, including including xarel-lo, chenin blanc, grenache and tempranillo. Beyond the wine, there’s a short but fun cocktail list including Sangria and Kalimotxo (a traditional Spanish drink made of equal parts red wine and cola), alongside other classics such as Martinis, a Manhattan on the rocks and vermouth and soda. There’s even a tiny section dedicated to soft drinks, including a vermentino and Ghiddy’s “pet-not.”

Bar Louise
135 Enmore Road, Enmore
(02) 8580 7380

Hours:
Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sat & Sun 12pm–11pm

barlouise.com.au
@barlouise_enmore

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