April 15, 2016 Staff Report
After being in business for three years, the owners of “Open Door” decided last month to rebrand their 50th Avenue bar and restaurant into “Re Pub LIC 50.”
Juan Cruz, who also owns “Sunswick 35 /35” in Astoria, changed management to fit the changing dynamics of the neighbohood.
“We decided to change the look and feel of the bar to reflect a new environment for our customers,” said Luis Dubon, the new general manager who was brought in to help rebrand the 10-09 50th Ave. establishment.
Dubon will be working alongside Jack Arenas, the bar’s director of marketing and social media, to run the day-to-day activities and events at the location. Such events include “Dirty Trivia,” karaoke and other creative concepts they plan to implement throughout the week.
“I’ve been working with Luis for the past two years running a restaurant together in the Lower East Side,” Arenas said.
“He brought me into this venture in Long Island City to bring my take on it. I want Re Pub LIC 50 to feel like home, for people to know our bartenders, our servers, and Luis and I personally, Arenas said. “Whenever you come in here, you’re going to see either him or I, and we’re all going to help make sure you have a good time, whether you’re here for dinner, or for a cocktail or three.”
The new image is important to Luis as well, who stated, “I don’t want people to think all we did is change the sign in the front. I want us to be completely different, and an integral part of the community.”
Dubon, who comes to the establishment with 12 years of experience working in the industry, added, ”Jack and I have spent almost two hours every day going to as many bars and establishments in Hunters Point to introduce ourselves and help become a staple in the community.”
“The food options we now provide is one of the biggest changes,” Dubon stated. ”We’re not only doing typical bar food now but we are also offering delicacies that we believe reflect the taste of Long Island City residents and those who visit.”
To help illustrate this difference, Dubon and Arenas invited community members for a tasting in March, including Hunters Point Civic Association President Brent O’Leary.
“It seems as though they made a lot of good changes,” O’ Leary said. “They are doing something different here. I love it.”
New food items on the menu that were available to try included the “Tuna Roll,” with diced ahi tuna and sesame-sprinkled avocado in a wasabi aioli, the “Isle Au Haut Roll,” a fresh lobster tail sandwich with herbed citrus aioli, and the “Austin City Burger,” which is a beef burger served with smoked bacon, sauteed onions, blue cheese topped with a fried egg and chipotle mayo.
Other food options included grilled octopus with piquillo pepper sauce served under pesto, chicken liver mousse, pastacchio crusted salmon over vegetable orzo with cauliflower puree and more. Food lovers can read their full menu here.
Re Pub Lic 50’s hours of operation are:
Monday to Thursday: 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Friday: Noon to 4:00 a.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
You can learn more at their website here.