Bar Del Mar restaurant at Liberty Center aims for tropical resort vibe

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Bar Del Mar restaurant at Liberty Center aims for tropical resort vibe

A Columbus-based restaurant group with a national presence is hoping its new business-within-a-business concept takes off in Butler County so it can be introduced to other locations.

The concept of Bar Del Mar at 7600 Gibson St. in Liberty Twp., makes use of a under-utilized banquet facility space inside Liberty Center’s Brio Tuscan Grille.

Bar Del Mar is now open as a standalone bar and restaurant on the back side of the Brio at Liberty Center in Liberty Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Transparent garage doors provide a scenic view when the outside temperature isn’t so great, and the ability to roll them up means guests can enjoy nicer weather.

“It’s a unique concept-within-a-concept,” said Kevin Cooney, Bar Del Mar’s manager. “With this one, we lucked out. The view that we have is of the fountain and the splash pad and this wonderful park. It really helps to add to the ambiance on the interior, as well.”

Bartender Brian McCarty makes cocktails at the newly opened Bar Del Mar at Liberty Center in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The renovated space includes a patio, bamboo lamp shades, white-washed bricks and hanging, bare, antique-like bulbs, all aiming to create a laid-back, beach resort vibe, Cooney said.

If successful at Liberty Center, the Bar Del Mar concept could expanded to other locations within the Bravo | Brio Restaurant Group, which consists of Bravo Cucina Italiana, Brio Tuscan Grille and Bon Vie Bistro restaurant chains, he said.

Bar Del Mar is now open as a standalone bar and restaurant on the back side of the Brio at Liberty Center in Liberty Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Bar Del Mar utilizes the same kitchen at Brio Tuscan Grille, but features a completely different menu, one that offers a mix of small-plate shareables, pizza, sandwiches, salads and desserts.

Bar Del Mar is now open as a standalone bar and restaurant on the back side of Brio at Liberty Center in Liberty Township. This is the Margherita Pizza with Tropical Cosmo infusion cocktail, left, and Buffalo Cauliflower with Honey Vanilla Manhattan infusion cocktail. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

“If you’re in the industry, you’ve kind of noticed there’s this trend with the younger generations where they don’t want these big, heavy formal meals,” Cooney said. “They’re looking for more casual ‘Hey, here we are. Let’s grab a quick bite to eat. Before we go do this, let’s go do that.’”

Ryan Buckley, of Liberty Twp., on a second visit to Bar Del Mar, said he and his fiancee stopped by three days earlier, ordering Buffalo Cauliflower and Balsamic Glazed Chicken Wings from the small plates portion of the menu, as well as a Chopped Salad for each.

Bar Del Mar is now open as a standalone bar and restaurant on the back side of the Brio at Liberty Center in Liberty Township. This is the Tropical Cosmo infusion cocktail with Buffalo Cauliflower. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

“They’re both fresh and really tasty and the salads were a lot bigger than I expected,” Buckley said. “The prices were manageable (and) the beer was great.”

Bar Del Mar is now open as a standalone bar and restaurant on the back side of the Brio at Liberty Center in Liberty Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A drinks menu includes house-made infusions, including Pineapple Vodka, Spicy Mango Tequila and Honey Vanilla Bourbon, plus specialty cocktails, and wine and local craft beer, on tap and in bottles and cans. Social hour is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, offering $2 off beer and wine, $4 for well drinks and $5 for infusion drinks.

Late night bites offers $2 off small plates from 9 p.m. to close.

Bar Del Mar is now open as a standalone bar and restaurant on the back side of the Brio at Liberty Center in Liberty Township. This is the Street Corn Nachos. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Aileena Morgan, of West Chester Twp. said Bar Del Mar makes her feel like she’s on vacation.

“The colors and the decorations here just make you feel (that way),” she said. “It just brings you back to being somewhere place tropical. I think it’s my favorite place. I love it.”

Hannah Hess said Bar Del Mar is “a very relaxed, chill place to be.”

“They’ve got the outdoors right here, which I really like,” Hess said. “I like to feel I’m outside. The weather’s not always nice in Cincinnati, so I just feel very ‘beachy’ here.”

Aileena Morgan, left, Hannah Hess, middle, and Arrington Joyner sit at the bar at Bar Del Mar which is now open as a standalone bar and restaurant on the back side of the Brio at Liberty Center in Liberty Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday; and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/BarDelMar1 or call 513-759-0076.

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