Like Barracuda and GYM before it, REBAR is poised to become the newest hotspot in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Occupying the spot formally occupied by G, the owners at REBAR have created a spot that completely turns this space on it’s head, with a diverse crowd, great nightlife DJ’s, and of course, amazing cocktails all helping to make a truly unique nightlife experience. I spoke with co-owner Frank DiLuzio to talk about what REBAR is bringing to a crowded New York City nightlife landscape and what they have planned for New York City’s much anticipated Pride week. We did speak at length about the recent (and unfounded) controversy surrounding their opening weekend, which has now been formally addressed. REBAR has, and will continue to focus on making the best possible nightlife experience for all of their patrons.
What made you think to take the spot that was formerly “G” and morph it into the new space in New York City nightlife! We had been looking all over NYC for space and when the space that was G became available, it had the infrastructure and size that was suitable for our venture.
Lots of businesses are popping up in Hell’s Kitchen right now. What made you stick with the classic Chelsea area and vibe for the location? You know, we really believe in Chelsea. It has a significant gay population that could really benefit from an environment like our in this community.
What is the kind of vibe and scene that REBAR is all about? Any specific cocktails that are going to eventually become signature REBAR staples? We are friendly neighborhood with no distractions, the emphasis is definitely on social interaction.
Any special events we can expect to be coming up for the pride season and summer months? Right now, we don't have any promoters or hosted events, every night is going to be special. As for Pride, we definitely look forward to celebrating NYC Gay Pride all week long!
Music is the backbone of so much of our favorite New York City nightlife spots. International DJ and producer Sin Morera handled some of the music for your opening weekend, who else did you have? Any other DJ’s that are on your wish list or plan on having? Music certainly forms the backdrop of a successful night! For our opening weekend we had an amazing line-up of house DJ’s! Everyone from DJ Dawson, Sin Morera, Jonny I., and Ted Bishop. This weekend, we have DJ Dawson starting a Friday night residency and Billy Lace on Saturday.
There has been some media speculation surrounding the opening weekend, which unfortunately, seemed to spread like wildfire on social media. The accusation is that the business is telling POC patrons who are waiting in line that capacity has been reached when, in fact, the bar was nowhere near its full occupancy limit. Once and for all, can you please address this issue and speak directly to your customers? It was our opening weekend and we had been in operation for under 48 hours. As with any new business, there are a lot of moving pieces to be assembled, and reassembled, as we refine things. Simply speaking, because we made a decision to let the bar empty out to work out some of the operational issues, we gave instructions to the door to allow entry only to guests on our VIP list. This in turn created a line at the front door of people who were mistakenly told we were at capacity when we were not.
Looking forward, what can you do from an ownership standpoint to not only make sure all of your patrons feel welcome, but have the best possible experience at REBAR? You can't be all things to all people, so we are going to focus on what we do well; making an environment for a community to come together. So many of the negative reviews were obviously written by people who have never been here and most are not even from New York City. in short, from an owners point of view, we will do our best to make this a positive and memorable experience for all guests
REBAR NYC 225 W 19th Street
Photos courtesy of REBAR staff photographer Richard Burrowes