Bar Spero, in Washington DC, nods to the playful nature of Spanish cuisine

Bar Spero is a Spanish seafood bar and grill designed by Streetsense and led by chef Johnny Spero

bar spero washington dc
(Image credit: Photography by Greg Powers)

Capitol Crossing, a trendy area between Union Station and Chinatown in Washington DC, welcomes Bar Spero to its roster of effortlessly cool eateries. The new Spanish seafood restaurant emerges from the vision of the Maryland native chef and owner Johnny Spero, who tapped global design studio Streetsense to bring the project to life.

Bar Spero focuses on a spirited Spanish fare

By taking inspiration from the dynamic energy of the District’s downtown culture, Bar Spero encourages lively conversations in spirited interiors. The space exudes a minimal atmosphere through a simple palette of blonde woods, toffee leather and cotton velvet seating but also presents dramatic accents, such as 6,500 sq ft LED lights that soar to the heights of the 20-foot lofty ceilings in the shape of mountain ranges.

Bar Spero interiors, boasting neon lights and blue velvet couches

(Image credit: Photography by Greg Powers)

Close-up of Bar Spero's intimate sitting area

(Image credit: Photography by Greg Powers)

The lower bar adjacent to the kitchen creates the energetic vibe of a lively Basque dining bar, while the tables ringing the window line allow for a more relaxed experience. Angled chevron flooring by Havwoods expands the perception of space, and the use of European Honey Oak accentuates Bar Spero’s warm atmosphere and prepares guests’ palettes for the inviting flavours of the Mediterranean.

Bar Spero's bar area

(Image credit: Photography by Joseph Weaver)

Chef Johnny Spero’s culinary style focuses on mid-Atlantic fare, with a seafood-forward spread that includes a plentiful raw bar selection. The restaurant relies on the raw power of its fire-fed grill to prepare everything from elegant Spanish turbot to meaty pork from the Shenandoah Valley. While the cocktail programme focuses on high-quality spirits that elevate classic recipes, guests can also choose from a tightly curated wine list, as well as regional beers on tap.

Photo of lobster dish

(Image credit: Photography by Joseph Weaver)

Photo of grilled fish dish

(Image credit: Photography by Joseph Weaver)

Bar Spero is located at 250 Massachusetts Ave NW Suite 155, Washington, DC

Travel Editor

Sofia de la Cruz is the Travel Editor at Wallpaper*. She was born in Madrid, Spain but moved to London when she was 14 years old. Being exposed to the city’s creative pulse at such a young age shaped her into the inquisitive professional she is today. Before joining the Wallpaper* team in 2023, she worked for Hypebae and Hypebeast UK, where she focused on the intersection of art, fashion, and culture. Additionally, she contributed to Futurevvorld by covering a variety of sustainability topics.