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Garden Bar Phx offers artisanal garden-to-glass experience

by Taylor Costello
Bars & Nightlife Food, Restaurants & Dining Phoenix Community Alliance Taylor Costello January 12, 2022

Situated on a quiet residential side street off Roosevelt Street with a collection of preserved turn-of-the-century homes, sits an all-white converted 1914 bungalow housing a new gathering space and watering hole.

Designed by James Beard-honored mixologist Kim Haasarud, Garden Bar Phx has a quaint, communal vibe. It is instantly welcoming upon stepping through the threshold.

The interiors are bathed in natural light, whites and splashes of earthy tones, which serves as a dramatic contrast to a typical bar. Garden Bar sources its ingredients from gardens and local vendors, with what Haasarud calls a “garden-to-glass” concept.

The commitment to the concept extends beyond putting a few locally-sourced items into the meals and cocktails: Like every good garden (which you can find out back) Garden Bar is making a concerted effort to repurpose, or “cross-utilize,” ingredients. Spent husks from freshly squeezed citrus for juices becomes the base for sour drinks including margaritas, citrus melange and others.

A Garden Bar bartender pours a Farmhouse Sazerac, whose artisanal flair is defined by a hand-cut block of ice and an orange peel. (Photo: Taylor Costello)

Flavors and food pairings weigh heavily on the experience Kim Haasaurd hopes to impart onto her patronage. Inside every mobile grazing (charcuterie) board, there’s a handy paper handout, noting where ingredients are sourced, thoughts on food combinations, and what she describes as “adding texture and mouthfeel” if paired with a mobile cocktail kit. For a bullet point of “Aromatic Cocktails,” she suggests pairing the old standard cocktails, like an old fashioned or martini, with items on the board like a chocolate or cheese.

“How I like to experience a grazing box is one of discovery,” Haasarud said. “It has an entire world of different ingredients that gives a lot of room to play around with the different flavors.”

The first Grazing Board offers local ingredients of differing contrasts, like truffle butter, yet irresistible pairings. (Photo: Taylor Costello)

Garden Bar Phx held its grand opening in December and is now open for Sunday brunch which includes breakfast-tinged variations on grazing boards. Haasarud mentions this as stage one for many different themed motifs down the line, like a Mother’s Day-themed board.

The house’s three separate rooms remain preserved, repurposed as secluded sitting spaces for conversing and drinking, in addition to the main bar space.ย With the exception of removing one wall in the open living space to make way for the massive two-inch thick butcher block running through the length of the bar, formerly the main living space, the bungalow retains much of its original charms.

The bar will continue to capitalize on its two mainstays from before it became fully operational, its mobile grazing boards and educational pop-up events, meant for novices and master mixologists alike.

For people still uncomfortable with in-person dining, or simply wanting to eat at home, Garden Bar still offers their recognized Grazing Boards and cocktail kits as takeout. (Photo: Taylor Costello)

Garden Bar Phx, 822 N. Sixth Avenue, (602) 824-3285. Check the website gardenbarphx.com for hours and contact info

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