You are reading

Long-awaited restaurant opens March 1, offers free food

opendoor-licMarch 1, 2013 By Bill Parry

It’s hard to beat free American-style restaurant food.

Opendoor, the long-awaited bar/restaurant located at 10-09 50th Ave., will be opening its doors for the first time this weekend and will be offering diners free meals.

The restaurant is using the free event—or soft launch– to train its new kitchen and dining room staff.

The restaurant will be offering free meals on Friday and Saturday between 7pm and 10pm—as well as a Sunday brunch between 1 pm and 3pm.

A formal launch is expected to take place next week, once its liquor license comes through. In the meantime, diners are welcome to bring their own wine or beer.

While the food is on the house, the owners ask that diners tip the waiters and bartenders.

Opendoor, which will feature 16 craft beers on tap, offers small-plate American dishes and tapas. The restaurant seats nearly 100.

Opendoor has a staff of nearly 30– including four people who worked at Lounge 47 before it closed in December. “At least half the staff live so close they’ll be able to walk to work,” said Nick Guitart, a co-owner of the restaurant.

The staff has already undergone a three day structured training program, and this weekend’s opening is the next step. “You can teach people consistency, but you can’t teach personality,” Guitart said.

Gerard Ryan, one of the partners at Opendoor, will run the bar. A native of Tipperary, Ireland, Ryan’s been in the hospitality business since the age of 15. “This is fulfilling a lifelong dream,” said Ryan. “We’re looking forward to bringing a cozy tavern – we’re hoping for a Cheers kind of place.”

Guitart has worked in the restaurant business for 25 years, and has helped establish 11 restaurants along the way. This is the first time he’s doing it as an owner.

Guitart said he will be relieved once the restaurant is open.

“I’ve had nothing but surprises along the way,” he said, adding that several investors came and went along the way. Hurricane Sandy caused construction delays, and nearly a year passed while his landlord sorted out a structural issue in the basement.

A scaled down version of the waterfront Pepsi sign hangs over the dining room. The sign drew the attention of 83 year old Frank Corrado, known as the unofficial mayor of LIC.

“Once he saw the Pepsi sign he knew it was his kind of place,” Guitart said. “He gave us all the old pictures that decorate the walls. He even took some of them himself.”

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.