Former Prince Street wine bar and eatery undergoing facelift, ownership change

Harry Sullivan
Published on May 14, 2014
Business partners Monica Gallant and Derek Forsyth are in the process of converting the former Red Bird Wine Bar and Wooden Hog restaurant into a brand new restaurant/pub called the Nook and Cranny.

TRURO - Goodbye Red Bird, goodbye Wooden Hog.

Hello, Nook and Cranny.

The former Red Bird Wine Bar and adjoining Wooden Hog restaurant on Prince Street, which both shut down over the past year, are being refurbished to become a new, co-joined eatery and pub-style bar featuring nearly 30 brands of beer.

"We're taking the best of what the Red Bird and Wooden Hog was and we're really not changing the Red Bird's atmosphere at all," said new owner Derek Forsyth, who is undertaking the venture with business partner Monica Gallant.

"Really, we're taking the Red Bird, we're cleaning it up, were redoing the floors, we're instituting a new menu but we're keeping the atmosphere because it's beautiful."

The Wooden Hog, meanwhile, is being totally gutted and renovated, with one wall being refurbished in stone. As well, old Cadillac car seats are being converted into seating booths.

The area that formerly made up the Red Bird Wine Bar will be called the Nook, while the Wooden Hog section will be known as the Cranny.

Other renovations will include an outdoor, 90-seat patio on Prince Street that eventually will wrap around the corner to include Louise Street. Two patio doors have been installed on the Louise Street side for easier access to the patio there.

A section has also been opened up between the two interior sections to add a passageway between them. The opening, however, will be equipped with an old sliding barn door so the two sections can be made separate when desired.

"So you can still sit in the old Red Bird, the door will be closed, it will be nice and quiet. But if we have live entertainment or something, it's really rocking, you just roll the door back on a Friday night," Forsyth said.

The Cranny side will also include a "funky cool bar" that will offer 29 varieties of beer on tap, including 20 Maritime craft beers.

And the restaurant menu will include local fish and vegetables when available.

"We actually are going to have a specialty menu, it's a very small menu on top of our big regular menu, that will be focusing only on local suppliers," said Forsyth, who added that all prices are to be "extremely aggressive.

"It's going to surprise a lot of people," he said. "Our menu is very reflective of what we think Truro wants. So you can still come in for a burger and a beer, it's going to be 13 bucks."

Forsyth is familiar in the hospitality industry because of his involvement with the Split Crow on Prince Street, the former Warehouse Bars on Inglis Place and Champions on Robie Street.

While he has retained his interest in Champions, Forsyth said he has sold his shares in the other two entities to concentrate on his new venture.

"We're excited and a lot of people are really interested in seeing what we are doing and the whole local focus, which is important to me," he said. "We are going to be so unique in what we are doing."

Twitter: @tdnharry