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Restaurant set to open, overcoming many setbacks

Dec. 31, 2012, By Bill Parry

A new restaurant that will feature 16 craft beers on tap and small-plate American dishes is expected to be making its long-awaited debut in late January.

Open Door, which is located at 10-09 50th Ave., is likely to open within the next three weeks—overcoming long odds after a series of investors left and it was plagued with money problems.

Nick Guitart, a co-owner, has stayed the course since its inception and has spent the last year building the restaurant in a space that had been used for condo sales.

The restaurant will open once Guitart obtains the necessary permits. “Having patience helps when opening a restaurant,” Guitart said

Guitart got his start in the restaurant business as a dishwasher 25 years ago and has helped launch 11 restaurants for other people in Washington and New York. However, he said, it was time for him to start one of his own.

It has not been easy. “We’ve run out of money six times,” he said. “Investors would quit the project and others would join in.” He also explained that electricians couldn’t finish on time because they had to work on people’s homes after Hurricane Sandy.

Guitart is joined by two other active partners. Gerard Ryan will run the front of the restaurant, where there is a long bar, and Juan Cruz will help run the kitchen. Cruz has plenty of experience in his own right: he’s the owner of Sunswick 35/35, a craft beer bar/restaurant, in Astoria.

Meanwhile, Gregg Cannizzaro, who lives nearby, is a silent partner. He is best known for directing Talk Soup on E! Entertainment Network and his work at HBO.

Guitart, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, is promising small-plate American dishes and tapas. A staff of 15 is already in place, but that should grow to 35 when the restaurant hits full stride.

The restaurant seats close to 100.

A copy of the landmark waterfront Pepsi sign dominates the dining room.

The one thing he says you won’t find at Open Door is attitude. “This will be a neighborhood joint, a homey place,” Guitart said. It will be “very unpretentious. Most NYC restaurants have lost their way in that respect.”

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I’ve been keeping my eye on this restaurant, we need more places like this in LIC. And glad that several owners are from the neighborhood.


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