Bronx burger lovers can finally exhale – and grab a napkin.
The Bruckner Bar and Grill has reopened for business at the foot of the Third Avenue Bridge.
The popular neighborhood hangout’s loyal locals are now pouring in to taste the signature dishes they’ve missed out on for over a year.
Not much has changed at the South Bronx staple. Juicy burgers are still served on English muffins. Local art still hangs from the walls. The backroom stage will still will play host to Friday evening Kareoke.
The joint’s new management team of Bruckner vets Joseph Diaz and Rosa Garcia promise that the regulars will be satisfied.
“We had to keep the same feel,” Diaz said. “Even though I maybe wanted to make some tweaks, I couldn’t change it. People were calling me up saying ‘I need a lamb burger!’”
Knocked out by Sandy
The Bruckner had been shuttered for 13 months after Superstorm Sandy flooded the low-sitting neighborhood joint last October and caused damage to the shop’s basement, beer taps and freezers.
Recovery was then delayed amid ongoing legal disputes between the restaurant’s co-owners and landlords over who should pay for the cost of repairs.
Now the Grill is back up and running, complete with new black-and-white tiled floors and a new marble bar with four new beer taps.
Underneath the dining room, a new walk-in fridge has been installed in the basement, where water from the Harlem River piled up to the roof after Sandy.
The menu, however, remains unchanged. Burgers still are made with fresh, never-frozen meat and are served with hand-pressed French fries.
The signature “Bruckner Salad” still bares its laundry list of ingredients —mixed greens, bacon, chicken, tomato, avocado, blue cheese, egg and a balsamic olive oil dressing.
Hungry fans and friends packed the bar and restaurant during an opening night dinner service Monday, Nov. 18 that became a party that ran into the wee hours of the morning.
“The place was completely packed. We ran out of some of the menu at some point,” Garcia said. “It was supposed to be a soft opening, but it became a grand opening.”
The day after its reopening, more regulars were trickling in.
Marlon Estevez rode the Metro North down from Yonkers to munch on his second Bruckner’s turkey burger in as many days.
“It’s got that unique, really good taste, “ he said. “And I think it’s great that they use an English muffin as a bun.”
Vanessa Alsondo, who lives in the Clock Tower a block East on Lincoln Avenue, spent a lazy afternoon sipping on a coffee with a friend.
“I love that there’s a neighborhood place like this near my home where I can hang out,” she said.