Bar Lamar: A little wine with your groceries
Sometimes you want to go out to grab a drink, but don’t necessarily want to belly up to a bar solo because of the awkwardness of sitting at a bar alone. What’s one to do? Hello, Bar Lamar!
Bar Lamar is the newest addition to Whole Foods Market’s landmark store located smack dab in the middle of the beer and wine department. I refer to Whole Foods as my "happy place," and this little sanctuary just made me a whole lot happier.
Here, you’ll find six beers and wines on tap. Yes, wines on tap! Keeping things green, these wines come from barrels or stainless steel tanks, not boxes. Selections vary, but in effort to support the local community, two varietals--the Vermintino and Montepulciano by nearby Duchman Family Winery--remain a staple.
You are surrounded by fellow shoppers and locals in-the-know, sharing this fabulous find.
The wine menu, created by Associate Wine Team Leader Trey McLean, allows you to decide between a two-ounce taste, a glass, a half or full carafe, or a wine flight. Wine flights consist of three two-ounce pours of wine similar in style but from different regions.
One of my favorites is the Rue Rosé flight, perfect for summertime sipping. The flight includes Ellipsis from the Russian River region of California (one of the wines currently available on tap), Parallele 45 a Côtes du Rhône (France) and Bieler Père et Fils from Provence, France.
There are over three dozen beers by the bottle listed on the menu and one called the Mystery Beer for just $1.99. As the name implies, you have no way of knowing what you're going to get when you order this beer. The day I visited, they selected Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout from Independence.
Lining the shelves behind the taps are growlers in 32 and 64 ounce sizes to take home with you. Purchase a growler for $6.99 and have it filled from the taps for $5.99 or $10.99, depending on the size you choose. Bring your growler back again and again and you only pay for the refill.
What’s more important than the ample drink selection is the atmosphere. The scene is always casual and welcoming. It has more of a community feel than a typical bar. You are surrounded by fellow shoppers and locals in-the-know, sharing this hidden fabulous find.
Pull up a stool at the horseshoe-shaped bar or at the adjacent cocktail tables, and you are greeted by friendly and knowledgable staff. There’s no need to dress to impress because you are in a grocery store, after all.
Selfishly I want to keep this gem to myself, but word is spreading quickly. On a random weekday afternoon, you might find the bar full.
If you go to Bar Lamar, promise to save me a seat.