Free up your taco hand, Philadelphians. Bar Bombón, a plant-based Latin fusion restaurant from Nicole Marquis, is transforming a Rittenhouse corner into la esquina popular.
As the newest addition to the Marquis & Co. family of brands, which already includes Center City staples HipCityVeg and Charlie was a sinner., Bar Bombón is continuing to build a community around healthy eating – with a twist. Inspired by Old San Juan, unique Latin flavors, and Nicole’s heritage, the restaurant pulls its recipes family – mainly, her grandmother’s Puerto Rican dishes.
Like Nicole’s other restaurants, it brings plant-based cuisine to the larger community while staying reminiscent of traditional dishes.
This familiar format makes the food accessible and a little more comfortable for those of us non-vegans. Bar Bombón, which translates to “delightful little thing,” aims to be just that – with the added benefit of being one less animal-based meal that you eat that day.
But it’s not just the food that Bar Bombón is changing. The space itself is having a transformative effect. Located at 18th and Moravian, the restaurant revitalized the former Crumbs bakery and is bringing new life to this Center City corner. Gone are the boarded up windows and dumpsters that weren’t reflective of the Rittenhouse we know and love – and in their place are bright blue tables and chairs, windows that bring the outdoors inside, and the sounds of sobremesa. It’s essentially a mini vacation to Latin America, without having to ever leave Philadelphia.
To help bring Bar Bombón to life, Marquis & Co. called upon us for the branding and Black & Poole for the interior design, working together to create an experience that flows as effortlessly as the cocktails they’re serving. Bar Bombón is more sophisticated than HipCityVeg, but more casual than Charlie, finding the perfect place within the Marquis & Co. family. Through light, fresh design and clever copy that is a nod to Nicole’s grandmother’s personal philosophy of living con calma (meaning “with ease”), Bar Bombón is where Rittenhouse meets Old San Juan, with some retro vibes and a dash of boutique flair.
As the first restaurant we’ve branded from the ground up, we were thrilled to work with one as mission-driven as Bar Bombón to help Nicole bring plant-based food to a greater community. And now if you’re looking for us during happy hour, we’ll be at la esquina popular, most likely with some chick’n tacos and a beet margarita in hand. One is fine, but two is better.