Apoy isn’t open yet, but the personality of the place is already shining through. Taped on the door is a profusely-sweating Tom Hanks photo, lifted from the kitchen during construction. A new floor is partially installed by the DIY ownership team. And a mural by comic and co-owner Shawn Nafstad is packed with tiny jokes, like a book on “How 2 Paint Murals.” The mural’s cartoons come together to form a Jeepney — the refurbished, tricked-out jeeps used for public transit in the Philippines.
The three co-owners are Sherwin Resurreccion, who lives a couple of blocks away and operates the FunFare – Global Street Eats food truck with his brother and co-owner Nafstad, as well as Curt Rademacher, who lives in East Isles and operates the Bombón gelato and espresso food truck.
They met through the restaurant Seven, back when Resurreccion was making sushi and Rademacher was running the steakhouse. They had long kicked around the idea of opening a restaurant together, deciding to grab an Eat Street storefront if one opened up. They were sitting in Pat’s Tap when Rademacher mentioned the Vicinity Coffee space had just become available. With a metal awning reminiscent of the tin roofs in the Philippines, the space seemed right for an industrial/island atmosphere.
“It’s an extension of Eat Street, but it’s perfect,” Rademacher said.
“Apoy” translates to “fire” in the Filipino dialect Tagalog. Resurreccion spent part of his childhood in the Philippines, moving at age 11 to the U.S., where Nafstad was born.
The menu will reflect the Philippines’ mix of influences from around the world. The cuisine is known for its vinegars, garlic and pork, with bold, strong flavors.
“It’s the Captain Planet of foods,” Nafstad said.
The spot would secure a strong beer and wine license to serve a global wine selection and Filipino beers.
Anodyne’s long central table will become the bar-top, the chairs and tables will be reused, and a stage set into the back of the venue will showcase live music, comedy and karaoke — karaoke is a must for the Filipino spot, they explained.
The stage is a natural fit, given the owners’ backgrounds in theater. Resurreccion has performed for 15 years in theater groups like Mu Performing Arts. Nafstad performs stand-up, and plans to draw comedians to the stage on a regular basis.
To help fill the beloved Anodyne’s old shoes, they’re planning a small coffee program. The restaurant will initially open for dinner service and later expand to breakfast and lunch as well.
Apoy is aiming to open in late July. For more information, visit apoympls.com.