Inside ‘Published’ on Main Street

L-R: barman Junior Alexander, chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson, owner Cody Allmin.

Cody Allmin’s new 100+ seat, West Coast contemporary neighbourhood restaurant project is a little behind schedule at Main & 20th, but a recent visit to the construction site revealed that progress is starting to accelerate.

The last time we looked in on “Published” was in January, back when Scout announced its coming. Cody, one of the twin brothers behind Port Moody’s excellent Twin Sails brewery (the other being Clay Allmin), had initially hoped it could be finished by early summer. He now says they’re crossing fingers for a September launch.

Last week I returned to the address (3593 Main Street) for a quick update and look-see (photo gallery below). Also joining us were chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson and bar manager Junior Alexander. A lot of progress had evidently been made since my last visit, with the basic layout of the space now in focus (looking good, Pacific Solutions Contracting).

They pointed out how the rear of the space would be the dining room and how the front would see a more casual lounge area that would be a little brighter. New framing further revealed a five seat garde manger bar and Junior’s long cocktail bar. Seating, they tell me, will be in three heights: low, mid and high.

With Evoke doing the design work (see also The Union, Fable Diner, Cascade Room), I’m expecting to see a sharp look with lots of modern materials, clean lines and defined zones. I know that’s hard to imagine now what with the seeming chaos detailed in these photos, but I’ve seen the renderings. Published is going to look pretty cool when it’s finished!

I’ll check back in later in the summer as the project nears opening day. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt of what I wrote about it in January…

Though Published isn’t associated with the brewery in any way and won’t be beer-focused, it will no doubt benefit from Cody’s marketing and graphic design expertise, which he has honed doing Twin Sails’ branding since its start.

Cody says the focus here will be on wow-factor cocktails and the refined, West Coast-inspired cooking of 34 year-old chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson. This young talent has made all the right moves a young chef can make, having skipped town (essential) to stage at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe (including Noma in Copenhagen) before returning to toil through the ranks under the guidance of local greats (also essential), in Gus’ case under Scott Jaeger (The Pear Tree) and David Hawksworth (Hawksworth Restaurant). He’s been a Sous Chef for years now, so he’s earned some prime time and a kitchen of his own.

Despite that high-falutin’ pedigree, Cody assures me they aren’t going for formal. He wants Published to be a casual, approachable restaurant of the sort that regularly exceeds expectations — something along the lines of Annalena and L’Abattoir. There will – of course – be beer (some 8 taps), and plenty of wine, but it’s important to remember that Cody was a bartender before he was a brewer, and that those affections die hard. It’s fair to expect really good things on both the food and cocktail fronts.

It’s a voluminous, two-level space (newly built where the old Continental Sausage used to be). The kitchen (with commissary potential) and bathrooms are located downstairs and spread out over 1,800 sqft, while the dining room and bar on the main floor occupy just under 2,000 sqft. They’re hoping to launch with a 15-20 seat patio under a shade tree along East 20th. The expectation is that they start construction next month with an eye to opening by the time summer gets into full swing.

What’s with the name? From my conversation with Cody, it sounds like “Published” conveys the right sense of contributive undertaking and accomplishment he’s aiming for; the kind that comes when a carefully considered effort is properly executed from start to finish and then shared with the world at large. That the name is passive-tense and past-participle feels right – especially at this early stage – as it conveys both confidence and a will to do the hard work required to see a project like this through. The name is unorthodox, but not thoughtless.

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