The first day of summer – June 20th – will bring with it the official launch of the much anticipated Crowbar at 646 Kingsway (just across the street from Savio Volpe and Matchstick). The new 30 restaurant and bar from young former L’Abattoir staffers Jeremy Pigeon and William Johnson will host its first friends and family night this evening (Wednesday) and repeat the exercise tomorrow night.
I took a look inside the cool-looking space (former the horribly named “Mega-Ill” marijuana-themed pizzeria) earlier this week and the first timers appeared to be in finishing touches mode. Following their planned and controlled test drives the plan is to shut for the weekend to retool as needed before launching for real on Monday. For some background on the imminent Fraserhood charmer, I’ve excerpted some intel from when we broke the news of its construction last month:
The concept for Crowbar is pretty straightforward: a casual but capable neighbourhood hangout offering a solid cocktail program backed up by sophisticated snacks prepped by young cooks who like to sit at bars and eat good food. They are “the three Scotts”: Chris Scott (ex-Wildebeest), Scott Downey (ex-Daniel, Noma, Wildebeest), and Scott Korzak (ex-Beach Bay Cafe, L’Abattoir). Expect them to plate a selection of stuff on sticks (“white boy yakitori”), popcorn sweetbreads, and so on – lots of other amuse bouchey things besides. I expect things will be tasty (and we know Will can make a drink). They’ve clad the walls with wood sourced from an old barn on the Island, and were working on the elaborately boxy back bar system when I came through for a peek late last week. I’m especially looking forward to seeing the faux amber bar top that they’re working on, as well as the Toronto-style, 20 seat backyard patio that I really hope they get City permission for. Cross your fingers on that latter score, and expect to see them open in June.
As you can see from the images below, the glossy bar top and boxy, backlit backbar turned out nicely. I especially dig the lower face of the bar (where your knees are), which is fronted with rough cut timber ends. I also like the elegant blue and white pattern of the bar height banquette fabric — a swanky, softening contrast to the room’s omnipresent (almost oppressive) woodiness. Indeed, though Crowbar feels casual and rustic there are enough suggestions of game (eg. wine glasses on the tables) to subliminally instill enough confidence to elevate guest expectations. The menu – reading clean and uncomplicated – does the same…
Fresh Milled bread smoky pork fat, jus
Potato skins cheddar, chives (add 30g caviar)
Fried pickles whipped ranch
Radishes aromatic chicken fat
Puffed beef tendon spices
Sausage rolls raclette, mustard
ON A STICK
Sweet potato roasted garlic yogurt, sumac
Beetroot caramelized honey, chocolate mint
Shiitakes tasty paste
Pork collar spiced apple butter
Veal tongue chimmichurri
King crab sunflower butter, beer vinegar
SMALLER TO LARGER
Roasted cabbage walnuts, brown butter, caper puree, anise hyssop
Grilled romaine jalapeno, buttermilk dressing, cured egg yolk
Charred leeks shrimp gribiche, bone marrow vinaigrette, puffed barley
Beef tartare broccoli, bitter greens, anchovy dressing
Ravioli chicken broth, green tomato, grilled fennel, marjoram, evoo
Smoked steelhead tart pate brisee, dill mayo, garlic scapes, radishes, dill
Fresh cheese strawberry, wild rose vinegar, wildflower lavash
Chicken and foie gras terrine rhubarb gelee, salmonberry mostarda, crackers
Hand-held apple pie
Spiced rum smore
It’s great that they’re opening more or less on time. The only bit of bad news is that they won’t be able to open the backyard patio until next summer — a bummer for sure. Opening hours are set for 5pm to midnight, seven nights a week. Take a look and tell your friends…
First thought: awesome new place in the neighbourhood.
First look: All stools & my spouse uses a wheelchair. So much for that.
Matt, you’ll be happy to know that there is a low table for four to accommodate. It hadn’t arrived yet when I was there taking photos.
Thoughtful ideas , I loved the information . Does anyone know if my company can locate a blank AO 398 copy to fill in ?