Bar Laurel is named after Calle del Laurel in Logroño, Rioja, a street that is famous for pinchos, tapas and wine.
Jon travelled to Spain for the first time 10 years ago, fell in love with its food and culture, and didn’t want to come home. After returning to Spain a few times, Jon started to think about opening a Basque/Spanish influenced restaurant in Ottawa. The menu for Bar Laurel is inspired by recent trips to the Basque country and the Rioja region: lots of small bites (pintxos), tons of wines by the glass, sherry and vermouth based cocktails, secreto iberico and seasonal vegetables cooked on charcoal and ribeye and chickens cooked in the wood fire oven. Ingredients are sourced locally when possible.
Wine Director Alex McMahon has put together a wine program that focuses heavily on natural and biodynamic wines from Spain, France, Italy and Canada. 20 to 25 wines are available by the glass every day.
Cocktail and Sherry program were created by Matt Millard and Steph Albert and features Sherry and Vermouth based updates to classic cocktails.
The space was designed by owners Jon and Kate Svazas. They worked with friends The Modern Shop, Uproar Interiors, Bill Wiseborough, Chris Snow Photography and Interversion to create a fun, modern space for guests to eat and drink. Doublenaut designed Bar Laurel’s rad logo, they did an amazing job and we’d recommend them highly to anyone looking for graphics work.
1087 Wellington W.
Mon-Sat: 5:30pm - Late
Sunday brunch: Coming soon
There is street parking on Wellington and surrounding streets (Sterling, Sherbrooke, Melrose)
We are accessible by many bus routes but primarily the #2! Recommend checking with OC Transpo for bus schedules.
JON SVAZAS - CHEF & OWNER
After spending the last 12 years working in kitchens, Jon opened Fauna in 2014 in Centretown. Prior to that Jon worked at Taylor’s Genuine Food and Wine, Domus Cafe, Farbs Kitchen, Vittoria Trattoria and the Arc Hotel. Jon is happiest in the kitchen and hanging out with his family.
Zachary Resnick - Chef de Cuisine
Born in Ottawa and attended Algonquin College Culinary program. Bounced around the Byward Market for a few years at various restaurants (Metropolitan Brasserie, Luxe Bistro, Meditheo, Stella Osteria). Zach landed a job at Signatures at Le Cordon Bleu under Yannick Anton. Worked at Signatures for two years before meeting Jon Svazas and taking the position of Sous Chef at Fauna.
Alex, McMahon - Wine Director
Alex McMahon’s interest in restaurants began in 2009 when he took a job as a dishwasher at Murray Street Kitchen, Wine and Charcuterie in Ottawa. After a brief stint in the kitchen at John Taylor’s Domus café he moved along to Beckta Dining and Wine where he got his start in hospitality and developed a love for wine. McMahon’s next position was as assistant sommelier at Back Lane Café where he worked under sommelier Paul Tretina and owner George Monsour. After achieving his intermediate and advanced sommelier certificates from the WSET Alex took sales jobs with Karlo Estates and Malivoire Winery where he worked up until leaving to help open Chef Matt Carmichael’s hugely popular El Camino in 2013. Shortly after opening fauna in 2014 Alex was invited to intern at Chef René Redzepi Noma in Copenhagan DK.
Eryn Huskins - General Manager & Sommelier
Originally from Halifax N.S., Eryn’s passion for hospitality began at a young age, now with 15 years experience in the industry. At the age of 25, while working with Prime Restaurant Group, Eryn was awarded ‘Ontario Hostelry Institute Top 30 under 30'. Working her way through positions including Server, Bartender, Bar Manager she then moved on to a bartending position with Play Food & Wine. Here she spent 4 years with the Stephen Beckta group dedicating herself to learning the skills of finer dining and developing a passion for wine. In 2016, Eryn successfully achieved a Sommelier certification with The Court of Master Sommeliers and continues her educational journey in the world of wine and hospitality.
Matt Millard - Head Bartender
Matt was born and raised in Aberdeen, Scotland. He fell in love with bartending while working at Panda and Sons in Edinburgh where he was trained by some of the best bartenders in the UK. He finds himself living in the Nation’s capital after meeting his Canadian wife Amy while on vacation in Whistler, BC. Matt is an award winning bartender and comes to Bar Laurel with the passion and energy to constantly push himself and his craft.