Cheu Fishtown, from the guys behind Cheu Noodle Bar and Bing Bing Dim Sum, opens Friday in the old Bicycle Stable building on Frankford Avenue. And it looks pretty cool. The restaurant, designed by Rohe Creative, includes a mural of a four-eyed octopus, a red-topped bar, and black-and-white stools with funky drawings. There’s a small, colorful private dining area fenced off from the rest of the tables — literally, there’s a chain-link fence. Even the bathroom sink and toilet are eye-catching. The building dates back to the 1800s, when it was a stable for police horses. Outside, Cheu will share a patio with Nunu, an upcoming Japanese bar from the same owners.
Fans of the original Cheu in Washington Square West will recognize a few of the hits at the new restaurant — brisket ramen, black garlic wings — but Cheu 2.0 will have a lot more options, plus more seats. “This is a new format. That’s why we went with ‘Cheu Fishtown,’ not another ‘Cheu Noodle Bar,’” says Shawn Darragh, who owns the restaurant with chef Ben Puchowitz. “At the original Cheu, near the hospital, people come and go very fast,” he says. “They’re sitting at a bar, so they eat quickly. Here, you can sit at a table and have a complete meal.”
In addition to a handful of noodle bowls, the Cheu Fishtown menu has buns, dumplings, poke, a snacks section with barbecue duck rolls and Chinese broccoli with smoked peanuts, and a char siu brisket plate made to be shared. Justin Bacharach is the executive chef.
As for the Japanese spot, Darragh and Puchowitz weren't looking to open a fourth restaurant right next door to Cheu Fishtown. But with a new building going up so close they were wary of what would wind up in it. So they grabbed the space, signing a lease about eight months ago and planning for an early/mid-2018 opening. Unlike Cheu, with its traditional restaurant hours, Nunu will be more of a bar with a “garden type thing,” Darragh says, and Japanese bar food (think: yakitori and katsu). It will fill the first floor and basement of the building. Apartments are going in above.
"We didn't want someone putting in a bad concept next door,” Darragh says. “We have the patio right there — we didn’t want something coming in that didn’t fit with us.”
Cheu Fishtown — 1416 Frankford Avenue; just look for the fire-engine-red double doors — will be open for lunch and dinner starting July 21. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Here’s that toilet: