Photo Credit: Sierra Durgaram
Bar Bario: Inside The Black-Owned, Woman-Led Bar In Amsterdam
A new Black-owned bar in Amsterdam is bringing the Black and Queer communities together.
“We’re trying to connect and strengthen these marginalized groups (and others) and have more fun with each other,” Bar Bario founder Sierra Durgaram tells Travel Noire.
Durgaram, who has been working in restaurants since age 15, says she’s never served or worked with people resembling her.
“My Black friends and friends of color would rarely go out for a drink in the city, while my white friends went freely every weekend,” she says. “My Black friends (and Queer friends) either felt like the places weren’t for them. They didn’t feel safe or felt like the odd one out in the existing spaces.”
So, she decided to change by opening Bar Bario in 2021 at just 22 years old.
“15-year-old me would be very happy to go to a space like Bar Bario,” says Durgaram. “Bar Bario has become a haven for those who have never felt like they have a place in the Amsterdam bar scene since opening its doors just one year ago. People who have previously been harassed stared at, or made to feel out of place can now come to Bar Bar Bario every weekend to enjoy a cocktail with a friend, get cozy with a date, or be their most authentic selves.”
Feeling Right At Home Inside Bar Bario
She wants people to get cozy and feel at home when they enter her space.
In addition to the welcoming environment, she’s creating community and healthy conversations around the art and exhibitions as the walls are filled with artwork from creatives and artists throughout Amsterdam.
“I hope they get a sense of calmness in that they can express themselves as freely as they want in Bar Bario,” says Durgaram. “Bario is more than a bar. It’s a home, a safer space, an exhibition space, and an event hub: we offer many things to those who don’t get this easily in Amsterdam. Everyone should be able to feel safe and good everywhere.”
She adds, “Bar Bario is unique in its strong ‘for us, by us’ values. We collaborate with our guests, creatives, and artists surrounding us. Our gallery space is a beautiful add-on to our inclusive concept; with this space, we shine a spotlight on those who don’t get space in Amsterdam easily.”
Bar Bario has Black & Brown speed dating nights, vogueing classes, spoken word events, and so much more.
The bar is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 8 pm to at least 1 am, and sometimes later.
Click here for more information.