Introducing: Bar Hop Brewco., Bar Hop’s big brother on Peter Street
Name: Bar Hop
Contact: 137 Peter St., 647-348-1137, barhopbar.com, @barhopbar
Neighbourhood: Queen West
Previously: OhSo Nightclub
Owners: James MacDonald and Rob Pingitore (Bar Hop)
Chef: Mark Cutrara (Cowbell, Hawthorne Food & Drink, Concession Road)
Snacks, sandwiches and sharing plates, all made to pair with a pint or two. “I think a restaurant should focus on whatever they do best—if it’s tacos, it’s tacos. For us, the main focus is the beer, but I don’t think we should be limited to that and that’s why I brought Mark on,” says Pingitore. Cutrara cooks out of what might be the city’s only deejay-booth-turned-kitchen.
All-beef pepperettes served with grainy mustard ($9), and house-made chicharrons dusted with a ranch seasoning ($5).
Clockwise from top right: Scotch olives (the bar’s take on Scotch eggs) made with heritage sausage meat and served with tomato relish ($6); thick-cut bacon topped with a quail egg and chimichurri ($7); and savoury potato churros served with a lemon aïoli ($6).
A special of mussels marinated in orange, cherry, parsley, garlic and smoked paprika, served with grilled crostini made from Blackbird Baking Co. bread. $6.
The beer-braised brisket dip on Blackbird Baking Co. baguette, served with jus for dipping. $12.
Yep, those are nachos in a pig’s head. A brined pig’s head is roasted to order, from which Cutrara scrapes out the guanciale, crisps it up, flavours it with parsley and fresh garlic then reassembles it in the head. It’s served with house-made tortilla chips and all the usual nacho fixings. $36.
Chef Mark Cutrara with his pig’s head nachos. “It’s a lot of work to put together,” says Cutrara. “It’s a line-killer, basically.” Because of this they only serve six per night.
Beer, obviously—36 taps on each floor, plus one cask and an impressive bottle selection. “The original location has 36 taps as well, and we try to differ the two menus to create our own bar hop within our Bar Hops,” says Pingitore. Japhet Bower (SoHo House, The Grove, Parlor Foods) runs the bar’s cocktail program, and taps will soon be devoted to Station Cold Brew, root beer and bourbon. Cutrara curates the wine selection, which is made up of local bottles. Look to the bar’s Twitter account for the daily tap list.
The cast-iron tap systems were made by the New York–based company Tapped.
Some barrel-aging and blending is done on site. Those fancy racks were imported from Paris and allow the barrels to spin (which makes filling, cleaning and emptying the precious cargo that much easier).
The three-storey space has been home to a succession of nightclubs (Reign, Abracadabra, Budo Liquid T and, most recently, OhSo). Right now, the bar’s main floor can accommodate 72 hopheads, but with the completion of the second floor and rooftop patio, there’ll be space for another 205.
Move over, Mason jar light fixtures.
The boards on the wall came from old whiskey barrel racks reclaimed from the Distillery District.