Changes at Kupros Bistro


John Gurnee is out as chef at Kupros Bistro, a 21st Street gastropub that opened in August. The reason? Gurnee and owner Stephen Tokuhama didn’t see eye to eye on the food or the restaurant’s direction. “He’s obviously very talented,” said Tokuhama of his former chef. “I don’t think it was the right fit for him and us.” Gurnee, who worked at Mason’s before opening Kupros, had devised a high-concept menu with dishes like potted rabbit, roasted bone marrow and poutine, a Canadian dish of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and gravy. While diners liked the food, said Tokuhama, it wasn’t enough to lure them back for repeat visits. “People would order the potted rabbit just to try it,” he said. “But they won’t come here three times a week to eat potted rabbit.” Post-Gurnee, the menu now includes more approachable fare like French onion soup, chicken marsala and Irish beef stew. Meanwhile, Tokuhama is giving tryouts to three chefs to replace Gurnee. As for Gurnee, he’s reportedly interviewing for jobs in San Francisco. “It was a situation that’s better for us and him if we moved in a different direction,” said Tokuhama.