The creators of Black Sheep have opened a new venture, Lorikeet Bar, on Holly Street in downtown Bellingham.  

The bar’s offerings are inspired by cuisine from Mexico, Central American, and South America, with additional influences from Mediterranean and tropical Asian fare. Rather than pigeonhole themselves into one particular style of food, Lorikeet leaves its possibilities open-ended and instead focuses on what tastes good.  

Designed to feel like a seaside resort bar, the atmosphere at Lorikeet is beachy, relaxing, and transporting, perfect for escaping the wintertime blues and easing COVID-19 cabin fever. 

“No one’s going on vacation this year… why not just build something here that’s escapist?” says owner Charlie Pasquire. 

The bar’s extensive cocktail menu features numerous rum- and tequila- based creations. The Hotel Nacional ($9) is a not-too-sweet daiquiri flavored with pineapple, apricot, and lime, while the Bando’lero ($10) is a smoke-and-honey drink made with mezcal, triple sec, honey, and lime.  

As an homage to the space’s previous venture, a whisky-bar/barbecue joint called Boy Howdy, the menu also boasts a variety of bourbons, ryes, and malt whiskeys. You’ll find everything from Old Fitzgerald bourbon, aged 15 years, to Kilkerran single malt whiskey, aged 12 years.  

The food menu rotates daily, but staples include small plates like ceviche, skewers, and veggie dishes. It’s high-quality food with a vendor-style presentationExpect flavorful sauces and marinades, like scratch-made chimichurri.  

The menu relies on ingredients sourced from local farms and suppliers throughout Skagit and Whatcom, including Cloud Mountain FarmYork Community Farm, and Taylor Shellfish 

Lorikeet opened in late July, joining the ranks of restaurants to launch during the pandemic. As fall approached, the bar turned its focus to making comfortable outdoor seating. The result is a semi-permanent facility featuring heated and sheltered cabanas. Each cabana is partially enclosed and enjoys an individual heating element, meaning you can sit back, sip a margarita, and pretend you’re on a tropical beach.  

For the team at Lorikeet, the experience of launching the bar has felt similar to when Black Sheep opened. 

Feels familiar in a way, and it’s pretty exciting, to be doing that again,” says operations manager Brendan O’Neill. 215 W. Holly St., Ste. 101 Bellingham, 

For more like this, check our Taste section here.