The story of BAR ATHENA
"In 2018, my husband Gordon and I moved from Brooklyn, NY to the Metrowest area to be closer to family and open BAR ATHENA. It's been a long-time goal of ours to start our own business, where we could work side-by-side, doing the work we love, and spend more time as a family. We have two young boys, who you'll often see around the restaurant...especially at brunch! Gordon's background is in corporate finance, and he is the head of operations at Athena. My background is in cooking, which I learned professionally in San Francisco and New York City. I've been a stay-at-home mom the last 8 years, so Athena is my professional return to cooking. We have put our hearts and souls into the space...we decorated and designed everything ourselves (with the help of some very dear friends), and everything we serve is chosen to bring a bit more refinement and joy to our guests' everyday lives. We hope you'll enjoy Athena and visit us regularly...thank you." - Chef/Owner Lisa Mendoza-Wood
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT DOES "BAR ATHENA" MEAN?
When deciding a name for the restaurant, Gordon encouraged Lisa to name it something personal (which was difficult because she is a very private person). Being a lover of classical history, and especially of Greek myths (which she reads to her boys), Lisa found it fitting to name the restaurant after Athena, the goddess of courage and patron saint of craftspeople, including cooks. The "BAR" part of the name comes from the European tradition of the Bar/Tabac -- the casual neighborhood bistro or trattoria that serves simple, traditional food & drink. Being lovers of European travel and ways of eating, we wanted the emphasis to be as much on the quality of the drinks as on the food.
ARE YOU A GREEK RESTAURANT?
No, we are not a Greek restaurant...but we often serve a variety of Greek food! Lisa learned cooking at San Francisco's Zuni Cafe, where the menu changed daily and featured regional and specialty dishes from France, Italy and the greater Mediterranean. We have used this pan-Mediterranean approach at BAR ATHENA since it is delicious! On any given day, we may offer pasta, risotto, Greek meze, Spanish tapas, and more...Additionally, we occasionally do fresh Mexican dishes, as Lisa's heritage is Mexican-American and she cannot imagine a day without fresh guacamole.
WHAT IS YOUR RESERVATIONS POLICY?
We accept a limited number of reservations each night. Please note, we cannot accept same-day reservations. We have only 11 tables (our seating capacity is 32, including the bar), and we like to keep some tables open for walk-ins. Thank you for understanding.
DO YOU HAVE VEGETARIAN / VEGAN / GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS?
Given our small menus, we may occasionally omit a dedicated vegetarian entree. This does not mean we can't accommodate you! Our menu offerings are not representative of everything in our pantry, and we always have the capability to make a vegetarian / vegan entree, even if it is not listed on the menu -- just ask your server.
As for Gluten-Free, many of our menu items are GF, however, if you have celiac disease, please note that we do not have a separate area of our kitchen to prepare GF food. If GF is your preferred way of eating, we definitely have you covered with many good appetizer, dinner and dessert options.
HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO GET AROUND USING PAPER PLATES?
This is specific to our customers in Holliston, who know all too well what it means to be on septic. The previous two businesses that were in our space had a paper-service restriction, meaning they could only use paper plates and disposable cutlery. When we decided to turn the space into BAR ATHENA, we worked closely with Town Hall and the Board of Health to access the building's water usage to ensure we could use real serve ware. Our seat count was brought down from the previous two tenants, and our hours are somewhat limited so that we can operate the restaurant according to our plans, even being on septic.
ARE YOU GOING TO BE OPEN FOR LUNCH?
In the future, we hope to offer a fantastic local lunch service...but right now, having 5 & 7-year-old children in addition to running the restaurant makes offering lunch a little more than we can handle. Thank you for understanding!