In less than two years in business, BadHappy Poutine Shop has amassed a hardcore customer base. But those customers will have to wait a few months (after Sunday) to indulge in Tom Kern's curds and gravy.
Kern is closing BadHappy, following one final brunch on Sunday, because of a landlord dispute. He is hoping to reopen the concept down the line at a new location, but will bring some signature dishes with him to Geek Bar in the meantime.
"Unfortunately we have to leave—it's not really our fault," Kern says, "but come see us one last time and then come see us at Geek Bar." The "geeky gastropub" is slated for a spring opening.
The landlord dispute has do with "potential safety issues that cannot be resolved at this time." Kern declines to discuss specifics. After a little R&R, he will focus on opening the much larger Geek Bar (10,000 square-feet versus 650) and then look for a new BadHappy location once Geek Bar is running smoothly.
"Tom's misfortune was fortunate for us," Geek Bar owner David Zoltan says. "We now get his full attention."
In addition to some BadHappy "old favorites," Kern will also bring some staff. He says he'll cook "funky scientific dishes" as well as comfort food to serve the overlapping clientele. Geek Bar will also serve booze; BadHappy doesn't.
BadHappy has been closed since Sunday for the holidays and will open for brunch this Sunday for "one last hurrah to give people a chance to party a bit." After that, fans can taste his food at Geek Bar and possibly a new BadHappy location.