Bao buns
Bao buns

Chances are, if you’ve done dim sum or yum cha, you’ve pointed at fluffy white buns filled with some form of savory meat. These split buns known as gua bao are often enjoyed as street food in Taiwan and other Asian countries. They’ll be the focal point at Bar Bao opening in Clarendon in March.

Social Restaurant Group, which backs Bar Bao, is also behind Provision No. 14, The Prospect, and Bonfire (which announced today that it would close after inauguration). Most recently, the group opened a Spanish restaurant called Pamplona, which will share a plaza with Bar Bao at 3100 Clarendon Blvd. Suite PL15, Arlington.

The 5,300-square-foot restaurant replaces Mad Rose Tavern, and architect Francisco Beltran ofSAINT (Studio for Architecture and Interior) has drawn up plans for a major renovation of the space. He’s outfitting Bar Bao with raw materials steel, zinc, and leather, plus a ribbon of graffitied wall art that will run along the perimeter of the restaurant. There will also be a 150-seat patio. (Rendering below)

Not much is known yet about the food or drink, but Bar Bao will be a sit-down restaurant with a full bar program. Co-owner Mike Bramson says there will be traditional bao flavors, but he hopes to get creative with the fillings too. 

Rendering courtesy SAINT

Bao photo via Flickr User Lauren Topor