This news is all that and dim sum: Sum Bar (307 E. Washington St.) will open its downtown location next month, on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Before the highly-anticipated spot (y’all kept selling out the pop ups, so we know you’re excited) starts taking reservations, there will be a grand opening festival to celebrate the restaurant and Lunar New Year. Keep reading for all the details.
Inside the newly-painted blue building at the corner of East Washington and North Church Streets (next to Fireforge Crafted Beer), you’ll find modern light fixtures, more pops of blue + details as cozy as the soup dumplings you’ll be ordering. We loved the statement light fixture above the biggest table in the house, the Asian cookbooks tucked on shelves + all of the little details that make this place homey.
You can’t miss the light up dumpling basket seat inside “The Garage” leading to Sum Bar from Fireforge.
The food and drinks
If you’ve been to a Sum Bar pop up, you’ve tasted Chef Khailing’s shumai (traditional Chinese dumpling), sesame balls (fried sweet pastry) + gai lan (Chinese broccoli). Expect to see those familiar favorites with some more additions like char siu pork, chili wontons + lots and lots of other dumplings.
While the drink menu is still being fine-tuned, you’ll find drinks made with baijiu (pronounced bye-joe). The versatile spirit, with variations that can be as different as whiskey is to tequila, translates to “white liquor” and is nicknamed “fire water.” You’ll be able to order a flight to taste the complexities, or sip a cocktail with this unique liquor.
Chef and owner Khailing Neoh says her biggest hope for Sum Bar is to introduce people to cultures different from their own. That’s why she’s opening her restaurant with a Lunar New Year festival and celebration.
Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year among East and Southeast Asian cultures and is a time for feasting and to honor household and heavenly deities, as well as ancestors.
On Saturday, Jan. 21 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., the festival will feature local vendors, family fun (read: bounce house for the kids), and — of course — Sum Bar bites and Fireforge brews.
Then, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., the party moves inside Sum Bar for a late-night grand opening event with food, drinks + dancing.
There’s even more down the pike for SumBar, like plans for a take-away window to get all the sesame balls your heart desires while you enjoy a beer from Fireforge. Sum Bar also hopes to host events in the shared space between it and Fireforge, and partner with the new coffee shop joining the property: Coffee Coffee.