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New Bar to Showcase Steamed Buns and Cocktails in Clarendon

A new restaurant and bar dedicated to steamed buns and creative cocktails is coming soon to Clarendon.

The business, dubbed “Bar Bao,” is slated to open in the former Mad Rose Tavern space at 3100 Clarendon Blvd, according to co-owner Mike Bramson, who also co-owns Spanish tapas joint Pamplona down the street.

As the name implies, Bar Bao will serve steamed buns, dumplings and other small bites inspired by Chinese and Taiwanese street food.

“We’re going to have a heavy focus on the bao bun program,” Bramson told ARLnow.com. “We’re going to do a lot of creative takes on it.”

One example is a steamed bun filled with southern fried chicken, Bramson said. Though the rest of the menu isn’t yet finalized, he added that diners can expect lots of similarly “unique twists on street food.”

Bar Bao will also serve a long list of cocktails, Bramson said. And like the food, the drink list is to-be-determined.

“We call it Bar Bao because we’re also going to have a really nice cocktail program,” he said. “We’re going to do some creative things that nobody in the area has seen yet.”

When it opens, the new eatery’s interior will feature murals from a local graffiti artist. The interior will also showcase materials such as steel, zinc, lumber and leather “to express an architectural moment reflective of the food itself: pedestrian, flavorful, and comfortable,” a design document given to ARLnow reads.

If all goes according to plan, the new hangout will open in a little more than a month.

“We’re expecting to open in April,” Bramson said. “We’re going really quickly. We already ordered the furniture.”

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