This is what Doak has in mind.

As you may have heard, the former home of Le Gourmand has a pubby new chapter in its future. And this chapter involves a lot of pennies.

Jen Doak, a longtime presence in the wine community, and Mike Whisenhunt, a longtime presence in the kitchens of Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, are remaking the space as their own place, Brimmer and Heeltap. It’s part pub, part bistro, marrying Britain’s affinity for pints of beer with fare from across the pond (plenty of wine, too). Also, given Whisenhunt’s history at Revel and Joule, perhaps some menu flourishes from Asian countries several ponds over.

In short, this place has some exciting possibilities. It’s a longtime dream of Doak’s, and she has been collecting pennies from friends and family (and blogging about it). But not for fundraising purposes—that seems rather inefficient. Doak is planning to tile the restaurant’s back space and front waiting area with pennies. It’s an idea born of Pinterest, but also a way to pay permanent tribute to the people who supported her dream along the way.

Now Doak has begun an official penny drive for the restaurant—she has a lot more square footage to cover. So far she has 78,095 in her possession and wants to collect 100,000 more.

Look for a collection bucket under the restaurant’s front door (425 NW Market Street). If you’ve got a workplace, group of friends, a book club, or a Mike Whisenhunt fan club that wants to raise a collection, you can email Doak and she’ll come pick up your pennies. She also hopes donors leave a note about who they are, and maybe even contact info for a personal thank you.

Meanwhile, Brimmer and Heeltap is aiming to open before the holidays. Tis the season.


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