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.

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.”

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.

MORE: 2 restaurants, bar coming soon to Liberty Center

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.

“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.

“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.”

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.

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.”

ExploreMORE: 2 new hotels, more apartments planned at Liberty Center

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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