spirits

Tiny Bar, Big Dreams!: Popping the cork on Providence’s newest hidden gem

Lift a little glass and your spirits at Tiny Bar!

What is one ambitious lady to do when she’s got a rad old building, tons of fanciful ideas for its usage (A coffee shop? A takeout counter?) and the verve and pluck to get it done? The answer was simple to Joanne Chang: “Let’s do a bar!” That very notion led her to open Tiny Bar, PVD’s smallest saloon. Don’t be fooled by the name, though. Their bar program turns out some of the most peerless potions in Providence!

Chang designed Tiny Bar as a light and bright space with decidedly feminine flourishes. “I wanted to dispel the notion that everyone wants to sit in a dark bar and drink. A lot of bars are designed by men, and we don’t often see many that are designed by women.” What Tiny Bar lacks in space — the scant eight stools at the intimate bar gives lucky guests a personalized experience with attentive and talented bartenders — they certainly make up for in personality! Chang notes that the building lent itself well to a hidden urban oasis vibe, and the Tiny Bar team ran with it to fabulous results, adding a patio with gorgeous greenery and a rotating mural and sculpture collection featuring PVD-based artists. While Tiny Bar is relatively new to the restaurant scene, they’ve been going strong since November 2019 with no plans of slowing down.

The unique cocktail menu’s crown jewel is the Amethyst, a tequila and lavender concoction that has become Instagram famous, and with its bold violet hue and floral garnish, it’s easy to see why! Not in the mood for something trendy? Drink like a regular and order the Espresso Martini, an off-menu “secret” beverage that combines local Rhodium black walnut coffee liqueur with super concentrated espresso that will keep you up long into the wee hours! Tiny Bar serves offerings from Rhode Island and Southern New England purveyors whenever possible, so keep an eye out for hometown favorites like Two Rhodes, Whalers, Newport Brewery, and Canned Heat beers, and vino from Rumford’s Anchor and Hope Winery. 

As Tiny Bar transitions from summer to fall, seasonal changes are in store for their menu. Pay them a visit as the days grow short for cozy offerings such as the scrumptious Tiramisu Cocktail, topped with a ladyfinger and fresh whipped cream like its namesake, and the Spicy Honey, a kicked-up jalapeño green tea brew. Of course, there’s also the No Name Cocktail, capped with a fig foam and dried mission figs.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has posed difficulties for the drinkery, Chang and her team are making it work, offering socially distanced outdoor seating and doing all they can to create a sanctuary from the stresses of 2020. She adds, “[We] are so thankful for the community and for everyone who came during COVID and had a great time. It’s a weird time, and folks don’t need to be going out to drink when they can do so at home. We’re grateful that people chose to visit us, though. They honored what we’re doing, responded to the vibe and menu that we’re doing, and we’re super humbled.” I’d raise a glass to that!

Tiny Bar, 377 Richmond Street, PVD; @TinyBarPVD; closed Mondays

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