Staff at the Bruckner Bar and Grill in the Bronx are ready to put Superstorm Sandy and the trouble it caused for the restaurant behind them as they prepare to reopen with a couple of changes. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
About a year after storm water from Sandy submerged the Bruckner Bar and Grill, warping the antique wooden floors and destroying the basement storage area, the beloved Port Morris restaurant is close to reopening.
"We have a new floor, a new bar," said General Manager Joseph Diaz. "The basement was completely renovated, gutted. The kitchen also. A lot of things were repaired."
The work cost upwards of $170,000. But those things aside, visitors will notice few physical differences. The Bruckner staff say they want to keep the feel of the restaurant the same including the bar's signature drink menu.
"It's just a place when you get here and you walk through that door, you get greeted and you feel like...'Okay, I'm relaxed,'" Diaz said.
That's part of the reason why the Bruckner hasn't officially opened yet. The bar is under new management and waiting for a liquor license for the new owner, former hostess and manager Rosa Garcia. She stepped into the post while the bar's former co-owner, Alex Abeles, is in a legal battle over whether he owes the landlords past rent for the months the bar was closed.
"The old owners are being in on a legal dispute which I cannot discuss, so right now I'm the only managing member," Garcia said.
Abeles declined comment, although on the bar's old Facebook page he says the landlords wanted him out so they could charge more rent for the space.
Garcia says the landlords paid for the repairs and like her, they're eager for the Bruckner to re-open.
While she waits for the okay to serve alcohol, she says she's considering letting patrons bring their own so she can welcome customers by mid November with a liquor license or not.