Nunu, in a new building a cross a small courtyard from the century-old police horse stable that houses Cheu Fishtown, was supposed to open last spring. But contractor issues — what's nu there? — pushed it back.
Like the partners' other eateries, Nunu is snug — seating about 30 people in semicircular banquettes, a few small tables, booths, and about a dozen seats at the bar. Rohe Creative set up the bar beneath a sea of red lanterns and opted for finely milled wood on the back and side walls. A neon fixture next to the restroom alternately flashes as a hen and rooster to symbolize that it's unisex.
The back of Nunu's bar has a drink rail built into the window.
Nunu's vibe is intended to be less frenetic than the others, as well.
"We opened Cheu Fishtown [in summer 2017] and our landlord happened to own the building next to our patio," he said.
"At that time, it was a hole in the ground. Ben and I decided that instead of having a neighbor that we didn't necessarily like, [that we would] come up with a concept. Originally, it was supposed to just be a drinking area while people waited for Cheu. Since a trip to Japan in November, it's turned into its own restaurant, with a full-blown izakaya menu, cocktails, and a small beer list."
Puchowitz's menu includes yakitori, grilled items (including avocado and served with ponzu sauce, burnt bread crumbs, sea salt, and smoked trout roe), a toast, raw items, Japanese curry, and katsu sandwiches.
Don't miss the Impossible Burger, coated in panko and topped with a slaw of katsu sauce, mayo, and cabbage and served on milk bread from Lost Bread Co.
Besides the small beer list, beverage manager Kelly Brophy oversees plenty of sake. She also will make chuhai cocktails, which mixes a spirit like sake, shochu or vodka with seltzer and fermented fruit.
Through a deal with Suntory, Nunu also has a tap system that mixes seltzer with whiskey for lower-octane cocktails. It also draws the seltzer at 110 psi rather than the usual 75 psi for more bubbles, Darragh explains. It's then flavored. These drinks contain about an ounce of whiskey, opposed to an ounce and a half or more in a typical cocktail.
Hours will be 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Friday, and noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (kitchen open till midnight).