See you later J-Bay Bar & Grill! After much anticipation, Sparrow (like the bird- Be free!) opened in their old spot about a month ago at 9736 NE 120th Pl. They have spent some time re-branding and remodeling to elevate your dining experience. Gem, one of the owner/managers, is truly his namesake as he greets customers with a giant eye-connected smile at the front door and then continually whizzes around to each table soliciting feedback and making sure everyone is happy. Sparrow is a great addition to Kirkland's Juanita neighborhood, and the dog-friendly patio is a bonus on these great summertime nights. Gem was reminiscing of his younger days when he used to live up the street and was a regular with his two brothers at JBay ( he kept the riding bull for posterity) and they would joke about how they 'owned the place.' And now they really do!
The interior now shows off a dark more intimate hipster feel, with lots of wood and tall private cozy booths in the dining area. When you wisely make your reservation on OpenTable, I'd recommend getting a summer-day spot on the patio, which was lovely paired with a fresh house-made sangria (photo below). The menu is striving to please every diner, offering a section of shareables, soups/salads, sandwiches, pastas, and entrees (desserts too). The food was pretty good. My friend and I shared the burrata avocado which came with 4 small crostinis ($16) that was lovely, and the birria lamb tacos (3 for $19,) which everyone online is raving about but I found to be a bit bland and greasy. I really want to go back and try some other menu items so I can find my go-to's. Online reviews keep mentioning the sausage rigatoni as a fave.
Definitely go experience this new find, however, also be prepared that Sparrow is high-end Kirkland style pricing ...a burger is $23. But it is a tough time to be opening a restaurant with rising food prices and a tight labor market. I like that they are invested in this space and our community, and as my friend said when we were leaving, "They really are trying!" Sparrow has really cleaned this location up (yes, even the bathrooms are lovely now), and I'm super excited to welcome this new concept to Kirkland. Also notable, the drink menu is reasonable with some creative summery cocktails being offered in the $11-12 range. They are open every day for dinner at 5pm. And you can be an 'angel' when you're here too- find the photo op on the wall out back. Go check it out and add your comments here too! I'm looking forward to going back.