It’s been a tumultuous ride for the Khyber since owner Stephen Simons announced this past summer that the once mighty indie rock temple was putting an end to live music. Initial plans were to transform the bar into an izkaya, with former Ro-Zu hotshot Todd Dae Kulper turning out Japanese food alongside beers from around the world. Later came word that the Old City mainstay was going for a craft-beer-meets-southern-comfort-food vibe. Today Simons told Grub Street that the Khyber will revert back to its original name, Khyber Pass Pub, which it hasn't been called since the mid 90s, and aside from a new 20-tap draught system, two beer engines for cask conditioned ales and said Southern-inspired menu, not a whole lot is going to change. “The new tap system is going in and the kitchen will open next week,” Simons told Grub Street. “Everything’s looking really nice and coming together for next week.”
Simons added that the rechristened Khyber Pass Pub will be ready to start pouring beers from the new draught system and serving up food by November 9, and will celebrate a Grand Reopening on November 18. Mark McKinney, executive chef for Simons’ Royal Tavern, Cantina Los Caballitos and Cantina Dos Segundos will run the Khyber Pass Pub’s kitchen.
As for Todd Dae Kulper and the proposed izakaya? Simons and partner Dave Frank are definitely still moving forward on it. “We’re still doing it, but in a different location,” Simons said. “And we’re pursuing it at a little slower pace.”
Earlier: It's Southbound for the Khyber