Bar 31 Brings Taps and Tapas Together in Bristol

(Excerpted from

Don’t let the name fool you. The owners of Bar 31, a family owned and operated tapas bar on State Street, didn’t forget their address. It’s just that the numbers three and one are significant to the Mizrahi family, who opened Bristol’s newest dining and drinking establishment at 29 State St.

“I actually asked Champ and Lisa next door if it was OK,” Michael Mizrahi, owner of Bar 31, said of the misnomer. The owners of Persimmon restaurant, whose next door address is 31 State St., said OK, he said.

When designing the theme of Bar 31, Mr. Mizrahi leaned on his Middle Eastern and Egyptian heritage, cultures in which hospitality and having fun go hand-in-hand, he said. The “tapas bar” — referring to one that offers a menu of small plate portions meant to be shared — was brought to fruition by Mr. Mizrahi and his wife, Jane, along with their children, Daniel and Maurice. When the Mizrahi family pooled their collective talents and efforts, they created a unique bar/restaurant that lends itself to sharing and talking while enjoying the comforts of good food and drink.

The tapas menu is ever-changing, using locally grown and produced foods that are seasonal. The family hired Chef Elser Ramirez, who previously worked at Hemenways, Capital Grille, Mediterraneo, Papa Razzi and other well-known restaurants. During his last 28 years of his culinary career, Elser has worked with two master chefs who have helped shape his techniques and skills in the kitchen. Chef is known for his creative and artistic dishes, as well as his expertise in quality seafood and gourmet foods.

“We’ll change the menu on the fly. (Diners) won’t get bored,” Mr. Mizrahi said.

The opportunity to open Bar 31 with his family came after the former owners of the British Beer Company found that the location didn’t serve its business model and were looking to move somewhere else. Mike and Jane’s sons, Maurice and Daniel, are very involved in the business, Maurice using his accounting degree and Daniel, the restaurant’s sous chef, pursuing his culinary career.

After Bar 31’s first week, the family is working to make new customers feel right at home. Comfortable chairs, booths and lounges give the tapas bar the feel of being inside a living room. 

Besides the full array of popular beers and liquors in stock, a dozen craft beers are always on tap, with plans to include a bar menu that includes craft whiskeys, bourbons and cognacs. Weekend acoustic entertainment will also be added to enhance the experience without interfering with good conversation.

“The amount of dedication to serve a quality meal and a quality experience is through the roof,” Mr. Mizrahi said. “Our goal is really to offer quality food in a comfortable atmosphere.”

Bar 31 is open 7 days a week. Monday- Friday 5pm- 1 am, and Saturday & Sunday 4pm- 1 am.