Like many, we were saddened (and our own Anicka Quin was the saddest of them all) when Mount Pleasant stalwart The Whip announced it was closing, but today's news is going a looooooong way to comfort us. Whip partner Cody Allmin is making the space a temporary landing pad for a concept he's long been dreaming off: Bar Susu, which sounds like it's going to be an elevated (but still casual) watering hole. There's a bit of a dream team coming together to make it happen: the food will be by Published on Main’s Gus Stieffenhoffer-Brandson and Novella’s Ashley Kurtz, the cocktails by former Keefer bartender Joe Casson and the wine program by Dachi alumna Brittany Hoorne. Seriously—this is for a pop-up?

The whole concept sounds amazing—Stieffenhoffer-Brandson is on a mission to meld high-end cooking with an easy approachability, and The Whip's location is already a neighbourhood locus so this seems like a no-brainer. The full press release with all the details is below, and stay tuned here for more updates.

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READ MORE: Novella is a cool new spot

This February, the team behind Published on Main is popping up a new bridge concept at The Whip’s former space, 209 East 6th Avenue. Named Bar Susu, the dinner and late night spot will feature menus by Published on Main’s Gus Stieffenhoffer-Brandson and Novella’s Ashley Kurtz, paired with a beverage program highlighting natural wines and cocktails.

“Bar Susu is an idea we wanted to do for a while, so we thought we’d try it out here as a pop-up while we finalize a more permanent concept for the space,” says Cody Allmin, co-founder of Published on Main, soon-to-open Novella, as well as Twin Sails Brewing and Thorn & Burrow Wines. “We’re keeping the vibe casual, with good food, wine, and cocktails. There will likely be a happy hour and some fun programming throughout the week. We’re excited to give it a quick facelift and be back open by end of this month.”

Stieffenhoffer-Brandson and Kurtz are currently working on finalizing the menu, which will feature a selection of chef snacks, share plates, and more. Current examples include a Honey Cruller topped with Duck Liver Parfait, Steelhead Gravlax, Grilled Ling Cod, and Quince Sticky Toffee Pudding.

The wine program is being developed by Dachi alumna Brittany Hoorne, focussing on small producers that emphasize low intervention winemaking and promote biodiversity within their vineyards. The wine list will be dynamic with glass pours ever-changing - guests will always have something new to try. At the bar, former Keefer bartender Joe Casson helms the cocktail program, featuring a rotating set of playful flavours, balanced against a hand-picked selection of amari and fortifieds, as well as unique experimental additions from the team.

The front-of-house team will be led by general manager Aaron Saymac, currently of Published on Main, who brings years of experience running top restaurants around the world. “The team has been working hard on every component of Bar Susu, and we hope it’s a place the Mount Pleasant community will come to love,” Allmin says. For more information, please visit www.thisisbarsusu.com.

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