BATA to open its brand-new, European-inspired basement bar, ‘barbata’

November 15, 2022
By Matt Sterner

An "intimate extension of the BATA experience."

Fresh on the heels of its landing on Bon Appetit Magazine’s list of the nation’s top 50 new restaurants of 2022, BATA announced today, Tuesday, November 15, that its basement bar will open on Saturday, November 19.

BATA's basement bar, barbata (Photo courtesy of BATA)
BATA’s basement bar, barbata (Photo courtesy of BATA)

The 1,000-square-foot barbata is set to be one of downtown Tucson’s most popular sanctuaries for sipping on craft cocktails while snacking on BATA’s intriguing bites.

According to chef Tyler Fenton, barbata was designed to complement the restaurant experience on the first floor of the reimagined 1930s historic warehouse. The new basement bar draws inspiration from what he calls “the European drinking culture, which is fun and casual, but with a focus on high-quality and approachable food and beverages.”

“Much like the beloved bars of Spain and Italy, barbata will be the perfect place to both start and end an evening,” said Fenton, BATA’s co-owner and executive chef, “and we’ve created an atmosphere that is a warm, intimate, and approachable extension of the restaurant upstairs.”

Cocktail at BATA (Photo by Anna Smirnova)
Cocktail at BATA (Photo by Anna Smirnova)
What’s to drink?

The spirits and cocktails found downstairs at barbata include a curated selection of vermouths, sherries, Amari, and other apertivos and digestivos, along with nine signature cocktails including the Mixed Smoked Kitt Peak Old Fashioned, with small batch bourbon, single hive honey, bitter, and smoke, and the Olive Oil Bigelow Martini, with olive oil-washed California gin, navy strength gin, dry sherry, and vermouth.

The beer lovers haven’t been left out either because there will be at least four beers on the menu with one cider on-hand. For those in the mood for wine, they’ll have nine wines by the glass and four wines by the bottle.


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What’s to eat?

When it comes to the cuisine at barbata, they’ve all been intentionally designed to pair with drinks.

The nine small plates range from a Spanish tortilla with aioli, to Cantabrian anchovies with extra virgin olive oil and lemon, to beef tartare with burned bread aioli, mustard greens, and toasted potato breadcrumbs. Additional offerings of Jamon serrano and mortadella, sliced to order, will be available by the ounce.

For those with a sweet tooth (or several teeth), basque cheesecake and a cream puff with embered cream will provide the perfect confectionary nightcap.

A truly unique experience

Fenton worked with the craftsmen from Midtown Artisans, selecting rich maple and oak woods throughout barbata’s interior. It’s a blonde appearance that offers a bit of brightness to contrast the board-formed concrete throughout the basement — a counterpoint to the somewhat heavier woods and hues of the upstairs restaurant.

Barbata will accommodate 45 guests, with seating for 25 and a standing room for 20. To start, the hours of operation will be Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4:30 – 9:30 p.m., and Friday – Saturday from 4:30 – 10:30 p,m.

In addition to BATA and barbata, Fenton owns and operates Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink with his sister, Courtney, and brother, Zach. Reilly has two locations, one at 101 E. Pennington St. and another at 7262 N. Oracle Rd.

BATA and barbata are located at 35 E. Toole Ave. For more information, visit

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