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 Jenna Portelance has put together a wine program that focuses heavily on low intervention wines from Spain, France, Italy and Canada. 15 to 20 wines are available by the glass every day.
Jenna has also crafted a strong Sherry program with up to 20 different options available all which are a perfect match for our tapas and desserts.
The cocktail and Vermouth program were created by Matt Millard 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
There is street parking on Wellington and surrounding streets (Sterling, Sherbrooke, Melrose)
We are accessible by many bus routes but primarily the #11. We 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.
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.
Jenna Portelance - General Manager/Wine Director
Born in Ottawa, her travels landed her Central Otago, NZ. While managing a local country pub, Jenna took charge of a popular monthly wine dinner. This is where her passion for wine sparked. She returned to Ottawa in 2014 and enrolled in the WSET Diploma program. She has since combined her passion for wine with a keen sense for hospitality, which she polished while working for various local restaurants including Play food and wine, Citizen, and Fauna.