The Bitter Bar’s New Chef and Menu

The Bitter Bar’s New Chef and Menu

New Executive Chef at The Bitter Bar, 23-year-old, Joe Arena

The Bitter Bar is a only few blocks from where I live and one of my close friends Michael Cerretani is their Bar Manager/Mixologist, so it’s one of my most frequented spots in all of Boulder.

I love the variety of interesting cocktails from digestifs to kombucha cocktails, the speak-easy vibe with a classic cocktail lounge, the knowledge of the staff and when the sun is shining, their patio.

Since The Bitter Bar became just The Bitter Bar and moved on from Happy Noodle House in October 2011 they’ve struck a chord by offering more approachable bar food, in addition to their world-famous cocktails, spirits and libations. Naturally, you think of a mostly a cocktail lounge when you think of The Bitter Bar but they’re beginning to step up their food game, to match the level of sophistication and impressiveness as their beverage program.

Longtime Chef Sam Prioia is leaving The Bitter Bar for a move to New York City and as of today, Joe Arena (he’s only 23!) will be taking over as Executive Chef at The Bitter Bar.

Last night we sampled some food that represented their journey from Happy Noodle House, to their menu today, to what they foresee the menu evolving to offer. Soon, Joe plans to release a Summer menu that will pair nicely with their Summer cocktail menu, as well.

It was a send off for Sam and a welcome to Joe (already has been with The Bitter Bar) into his latest role. They paired the food with not only cocktails, but wine and beer as they’re evolving to offer even more variety of drinks besides just spirits.

Here are some photos to show the wonderful spirit and comfort of The Bitter Bar, their staff and patrons. See Joe, at top of photo.

Find Them:

@TheBitterBar |

835 Walnut St., Boulder, CO